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I. Gettysburg, Pa. | 
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'confederate states army. 


Full Descriptions of the numerous Battles In which she participated as a Confederate 

Officer; of her Perilous Performances as a Spy, as a Bearer of Despatches, as 

a Secret-Service Agent, and as a "Blockade- Runner ; of her Adventures 

Behind the Scenes at Washington, including the Bond Swindle; 

of her Career as a Bounty and Substitute Broker in New York ; 

of herTravels in Europe and South America; her Mining 

Adventures on the Pacific Slope; her Residence 

among the Mormons; her Love Affairs, 

Courtships, Marriages, &.C., &.c. 




Command the trumpets of the war to sound I 
This stillness doth perplex and harass me ; 
An inward impulse drives me from repose. 
It still impels me to achieve my work. 

Schiller — T/ie Maid of Orleans. 


T. :BEiji§i:isr.A-T=». 



Gettysburg. Pa. | 




Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1876, 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 


Electrottped at the boston stereotype foundry. 
No. 19 Spring Lane. 


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Ir I expected by this story of my adventures to achieve 
any literary reputation, I might be disposed, on account of its 
many faults of style, to ask the indulgence of those who will 
do me the honor to undertake its perusal. As, however, 
I only attempted authorship because I had, as others assured 
me, and as I myself believed, something to tell that was worth 
telling, I have been more concerned about the matter than 
the manner of my book, and I hope that the narrative will prove 
of suflScient interest to compensate for a lack of literary ele- 
gance in the setting forth. Mine has been a life too busily 
occupied in other matters for me to cultivate the graces 
of authorship ; and the best I can hope to do is to relate my 
story with simplicity and truth, and then let it find its fate, 
whether it be praise or condemnation. 

The composition of this book has been a labor of love, and 
yet one of no ordinary difficulties. The loss of my notes has 
compelled me to rely entirely upon my memory ; and memory 
is apt to be very treacherous, especially when, after a number 
of years, one endeavors to relate in their proper sequence a 
long series of complicated transactions. Besides, I have been 
compelled to write hurriedly, and in the intervals of pressing 
business, the necessities I have been under of earning my daily 
bread being such as could not be disregarded, even for the 
purpose of winning the laurels of authorship. To speak 
plainly, however, I care little for laurels of any kind just now, 
and am much more anxious for the money that I hope this 
book will bring in to me than I am for the praises of either 



critics or public. The money I want badly, while praise, 
although it will not be ungratifying, I am sufficiently philo- 
sophical to get along very comfortably without. 

I do not know what the good people who will read this 
book will think of me. My career has differed materially 
from that of most women ; and some things that I have done 
have shocked persons for whom I have every respect, however 
much my ideas of propriety may differ from theirs. I can only 
say, however, that in my opinion there was nothing essentially 
improper in my putting on the uniform of a Confederate officer 
for the purpose of taking an active part in the war ; and, as 
when on the field of battle, in camp, and during long and 
toilsome marches, I endeavored, not without success, to display 
a courage and fortitude not inferior to the most courageous of 
the men around me, and as I never did aught to disgrace the 
uniform I wore, but, on the contrary, won the hearty com- 
mendation of my comrades, I feel that I have nothing to be 
ashamed of. Had I believed that my book needed any apolo- 
gies on this score, it would never have been written ; and, 
having written it, I am willing to submit my conduct to the 
judgment of the public, with a confidence that I will at least 
receive due credit for the motives by which I was animated. 

In the preparation of this book for the press, I have been 
greatly aided by the gentleman who has consented to act as 
my editor. Although during the war he was on the other side, 
he has interested himself most heartily in assisting me to get 
my narrative into the best shape for presentation to the 
public, and has shown a remarkable skill in detecting and 
correcting errors into which I had inadvertently fallen. I take 
pleasure in acknowledging my indebtedness to him. 

The book, such as it is, — and I have tried to make it all 
that such a book should be by telling my story in as plain, 
straightforward, and unpretending a style as I could com- 
mand, — is now, for good or ill, out of my hands, and my 
adopted country people will have to decide for themselves 
whether the writing of it was worth the while or not. 


The frank egotism of such a narrative as is contained in the 
volume noAv in the hands of the reader needs no apology. 
Self-reliance, self-esteem, and self-approbation, all were neces- 
sary for the consummation of such adventures as those herein 
related ; and, in the opinion of the editor, a chief merit in the 
book is the perfect unreserve with which its author gives to 
the world, not only the full particulars of her numerous 
daring exploits and adventures, but the motives by which she 
was influenced in undertaking them, and her impressions of 
men and events. Since the author has not seen fit to do so, 
the editor does not feel called upon to argue the question of 
propriety involved in the appearance of a woman disguised 
in male attire on the battle-field ; but, with regard to some of 
the transactions in which Madame Velazquez was engaged^ 
during the progress of the great civil war, a few words of 
comment, explanatory rather than apologetic, seem to be re- 

Some of these transactions Avere of a character that, under 
ordinary circumstances, would admit of no extenuation ; but, in 
making up a judgment concerning them, several important 
facts must be constantly borne in mind. One of them is, that 
Madame Velazquez was acting as the agent of the only gov- 
ernment to Avhich she acknowledged allegiance, and that she 
considered herself as justified in aiding that government by 
every means in her power, as well by fighting its enemies in 
the field, as by embarrassing them by such attacks in the rear 
as are related in her narrative. This plea will, of course, be 


8 editor's prefatory notice. 

worth nothing to those who refuse to admit that for any pur- 
poses the Confederacy had a right to exist. It is necessary, 
however, to view matters of this kind ft-om a different stand- 
point from this. The fact that the Federal Government was 
compelled to recognize the Confederates as belligerents, and 
was compelled to hold official intercourse with them, renders 
argument on this head unnecessary. Admitting that they 
were belligerents, they were justified, within certain limitations^ 
in doing all in their power to defeat their enemies, not only by 
opposing them with armies in the field, but by demoralizing 
them by insidious attacks in the rear, and by hampering their 
efforts to keep their ranks full, and to provide the ways and 
means for maintaining the armies at the highest state of 
efficiency. Whatever view non-combatants might have taken 
of the war, the men who did the fighting were obliged to con- 
sider it, in a great measure, as a trial of skill and valor, and 
practically to disregard sentimental or political considerations. 
From a military point of view, therefore, what was proper and 
justifiable for one side, was proper and justifiable for the 
other, and will so be considered by impartial critics. 

These remarks have particular reference to the portions 
of this narrative which relate the experiences of Madame 
Yelazquez as a Confederate secret-service agent at the North 
during the last eighteen or twenty months of the war. It will 
be noticed that she speaks with undisguised contempt of some 
of her associates within the Federal lines, — associates without 
whose aid she could never have accomplished the work she 
undertook. The unprejudiced reader will have no difficulty 
in understanding that their position and hers were vastly 
different. Some of these people were trusted officers of the 
government, were sworn to loyalty and fidelity, and were in 
the enjoyment of the full confidence of the public, as well as 
of their immediate superiors. Others were men who were 
loud in their protestations of loyalty, but who, while eager to 
be recognized as stanch supporters of the Federal govern- 
ment, were, for the sake of gain, secretly engaged in aiding 

editor's prefatory notice. 9 

the enemy by every means in their power. These people, 
and the shrewd, sharp woman who made use of them for the 
furtherance of the work she undertook to perform for the 
purpose of aiding the government to which she had given her 
allegiance in carrying on a gigantic contest, are surely not to 
be judged by the same standard ; and that Madame Velazquez 
does not hesitate to relate the details of her transactions as a 
Confederate agent and spy, proves that she, at least, does not 
consider that she has done anything to be ashamed of, and is 
willing that her conduct shall be freely criticised. 

To many readers, the story of Madame Velazquez's expe- 
riences in camp 'and on the battle-field while disguised as a 
Confederate officer, will, from the peculiarities of her position, 
have a particular interest. In the opinion of the editor, how- 
ever, the most important part of the book is that in which a 
revelation is made, now for the first time, of the exact manner 
in which the Confederate secret-service system at the North 
was managed. There is no feature of the civil war that more 
needs to have light thrown on it than this ; and, as the story 
which the heroine of the adventures herein set down recites, 
is an exceedingly curious one, it is deserving of the special 
consideration of the public, both North and South. 

The editor of this volume was in the United States naval 
service from near the beginning to the end of the civil war ; 
and as he gave his adhesion to the Union cause from princi- 
ple rather than passion, and as he has never, either during the 
war or since its close, had other than the kindest feelings 
towards those who took the other side, under a sincere con- 
viction that they were right, he not only had had no hesitation 
in preparing the narrative of Madame Velazquez for the press, 
but he feels that he can appreciate the motives which, from 
first to last, seem to have actuated her. The Southern people 
made a great mistake when they inaugurated the war ; but it 
does not become those who fought in the Federal ranks to 
doubt, at this late day, the sincerity or honesty of purpose of 
the vast majority of them. 

10 editor's prefatory notice. 

The great American civil war was an event that deserves 
to be judged dispassionately ; and to judge it dispassionately, 
it is necessary that the people of both sections should under- 
stand each other better than they did while the conflict was 
being waged, or, indeed, than they do now. It is especially 
important that the people of the North, being the victors, and 
being in a great measure responsible for the present and 
future good government of the South, and for a proper appre- 
ciation there of the advantages of a cordial and fraternal, as 
well as a political union, should study the war from a South- 
ern point of view. The present volume, the editor believes, 
is not only a most interesting narrative of adventure of a very 
exceptional kind, but it is an important and valuable contribu- 
tion to the history of the war. 

Madame Velazquez, whose enthusiasm for the cause of 
Southern independence induced her to discard the garments 
of her sex, and to assume male attire for the purpose of 
appearing upon the battle-field, is a typical Southern woman 
of the war period ; and there are thousands of officers and sol- 
diers who fought in the Confederate armies who can bear tes- 
timony, not only to the valor she displayed in battle, and under 
many circumstances of difficulty and danger, but to her 
integrity, her energy, her ability, and her unblemished repu- 
tation. Upon these points, however, it is not necessary to 
dilate ; her story will speak for itself, and that it is a true 
story in every particular, there are abundant witnesses whose 
testimony will not be disputed. 

As Madame Velazquez is a typical Southern woman of the 
war period, so her story furnishes a curious inside view of the 
Confederacy, and it throws much light on a great number of 
obscure points in its history. For this reason, if no other, it 
will deserve the attention of Northern readers, who will find 
many things stated in it which it is well for them to know. No 
commendation of any kind is needed to command for it the 
consideration of the people of the South. From the breaking 
out of the war to its close, the Confederate cause had no more 

editor's prefatory notice. 11 

enthusiastic or zealous supporter than the woman who was 
known as Lieutenant Harry T. Buford. According to her 
opportunities, she labored with unsurpassed zeal and efficiency, 
and with a disinterestedness that cannot but be admired. 

With regard to the part performed by the editor in pre- 
paring this work for the press, it may be proper to say a few 
words. The manuscript, when it was placed in his hands, 
was found to be very minute and particular in some places, 
and rather meagre in others, where particularity seemed 
desirable. Having undertaken to get this material into 
proper shape, correspondence was opened with Madame Velaz- 
quez, and a number of interviews with her were had. A 
general plan having been agreed upon, it was left entirely to 
the judgment of the editor what to omit or what to insert, 
— Madame Velazquez agreeing to supply such information as 
was needed to make the story complete, in a style suitable 
for publication. From her correspondence, and from notes of 
her conversations, a variety of very interesting details, not in 
the original manuscript, were obtained and incorporated in the 
narrative. The editor, also, in several places has corrected 
palpable errors of time and place, and has added a few facts 
not supplied by the author. These corrections and additions 
have been made after consultation with the author, and with 
her entire approbation. In preparing her manuscript, Madame 
Velazquez seems to have endeavored to narrate the incidents 
of her career in the fullest manner possible ; and it conse- 
quently contains a large amount of matter which can be of but 
very little, if any, interest to the general public. It has been 
necessary, therefore, while expanding in some places, to make 
large excisions in others ; but the story is such an extraor- 
dinary one, in many of its aspects, that it has been judged 
better to give it in too great fulness, rather than to omit what 
the purchasers of the book would have a right to find in it. 
The excisions have, therefore, been carefully made, and it is 
believed that nothing has been omitted that is of value or 
importance. A few expressions that might needlessly give 

12 editor's prefatory notice. 

offence, have either been stricken out or altered, while some, 
which persons of severe taste may object to, have been permitted 
to remain as they were originally written, they being in some 
way characteristic of the writer, or of the circumstances under 
which she was placed. While Madame Velazquez does not 
pretend to any literary accomplishments, her style has a cer- 
tain flavor which is far from unpleasant ; and the editor has 
been careful, in making such changes and alterations as have 
seemed necessary, to retain the author's own words wherever 

Owing to the loss of her diary, Madame Velazquez was com- 
pelled to write her narrative entirely from memory, which 
will account for the errors to which allusion has been made. 
Indeed, considering the multiplicity of events, it is very 
remarkable that she has been able to relate her story with 
any degree of accuracy. It is possible that, despite the pains 
that have been taken to make the narrative exact in every 
particular with regard to its facts, a few errors may have been 
permitted to remain uncorrected. These errors, however, are 
not material, and do not in any way impair the interest of 
the story. 

Madame Velazquez is a very remarkable woman, and some 
account of her personal appearance, other than can be obtained 
from the portraits of her which are given in this book, will 
doubtless be appreciated by the reader. She is rather slen- 
der, something above medium height, has more than the 
average of good looks, is quick and energetic in her move- 
ments, and is very vivacious in conversation. Her frame is 
firmly knit, and she is evidently endowed with great powers 
of physical endurance. Those who have seen her in male 
attire say that her skill in disguising herself was very great, 
and that she readily passed for a man. At the same time she 
is anything but masculine, either in appearance, manners, or 
address. She is a shrewd, enterprising, and energetic busi- 
ness woman, and in society is a brilliant and most enter- 
taining conversationalist, abounding in a fund of racy anec- 

editor's prefatory notice. 13 

dotes, and endowed with a mimetic power that enables 
her to relate her anecdotes in the most telling manner. 
In New York, Philadelphia, and other Northern cities, as 
well as throughout the South and West, she has a large num- 
ber of very warm friends, who hold her in the highest esteem 
on account of her eminent talents, her fascinating social qual- 
ities, and her unblemished reputation. It is to be hoped that 
the publication of the story of her checkered career will have 
the effect of increasing, rather thanof diminishing, the number 
of these friends. Her story is a most remarkable one, in 
nearly every respect. During the war a number of women, 
on both sides, from time to time, performed spy duty, and 
several of them are said to have occasionally assumed male 
attire. Madame Velazquez, however, it is believed, is the only 
one of her sex, who, for any length of time, wore a masculine 
garb, or who participated as a combatant in a series of hard- 
fought battles. Narratives of the adventures of several hero- 
ines on the Federal side have been published, but none of 
them will at all compare in extent and variety of interest with 
the volume now before the reader, which has an additional 
claim on the regards of the public as being the only authentic 
account of the career of a Confederate heroine that has issued 
from the press. 




The Woman in Battle. — Heroines of History. — Joan of Arc. — A Desire 
to emulate Her. — The Opportunity that was Offered. — Breaking out of 
the War between the North and the South. — Determination to take 
Part in the Contest. — A noble Ancestry. — The Velazquez Family. — 
My Birth at Havana. — Removal of my Family to Mexico. — The War 
between the United States and Mexico. — Loss of my Father's Estates. 

— Return of the Family to Cuba. — My early Education. — At School in 
New Orleans. — Castles in the Air. — Romantic Aspirations. — Trying 
to be a Man. — Midnight Promenades before the Mirror in Male At- 
tire 33 



My Betrothal. — Love Matches and Marriages of Convenience. — Some 
new Ideas picked up from my Schoohnates. — A new Lover appears 
upon the Field. — I Figure as a Rival to a Friend. — Love's Young 
Dream. — A new Way of Popping the Question. — A Clandestine Mar- 
riage. — Displeasure of my Family. — Life as the Wife of an Army Offi- 
cer. — The Mormon Expedition. — Birth of my first Child, and Recon- 
ciliation with my Family. — Commencement of the War between the 
North and South. — Death of my Children. — Resignation of my Hus- 
band from the Army. — My Determination to take Part in the coming 
Conflict as a Soldier. — Opposition of my Husband to my Schemes. 43 



A Wedding Anniversary. — Preparing for my Husband's Departure for the 
Seat of War. — My Desire to accompany Him. — His Arguments to dis- 
suade Me. — My First Appearance in Public in Male Attire. — A Bar- 
room Scene. — Drinking Success to the Confederacy. — My First Cigar. 

— A Tour of the Gambling-Houses and Drinking-Saloons. — The un- 
pleasant Points of Camp Life set forth in strong Colors. — Departure of 
my Husband. — Donning Male Attire. — My First Suit of Male Clothing. 

— Description of my Disguise. — The Practicability of a Woman dis- 
guising herself effectively. — Some of the Features of Army Life. — 
What Men think of Women Soldiers 53 





Preparing a Military Outfit. — Consultations with a Friend. — Argument 
against my proposed Plan of Action. — Assuming the Uniform of a 
Confederate Officer. — A Scene in a Barber's Shop. — How joung Men 
try to make their Beards Grow. — Taking a social Drink. — A Game of 
Billiards. — In a Faro Bank. — Some War Talk. — Drinks all Around. — 
The End of an exciting Day. — Making up a Complexion. — A false 
Mustache. — Final Preparations. — Letters from Husband and Father. — 
Ready to start for the Seat of Wai- 6i 



My Plan of Action. — On the War Path. — In Search of Recruits in Ar- 
kansas. — The Giles Homestead. — Sensation caused b}' a Soldier's Uni- 
form. — A prospective Recruit. — Bashful Maidens. — A nice little Flir- 
tation. — Learning how to be agreeable to the Ladies. — A Lesson in 
Masculine Manners. — A terrible Situation. — Causeless Alarm. — The 
young Lady becoming Sociable. — A few Matrimonial Hints. — The 
successful Commencement of a Soldier's Career. — Anticipations of 
future Glory. — Dreamless Slumbers 70 



Flirtation and Recruiting. — My brilliant Success in enlisting a Company. 

— Embarkation for New Orleans. — Letter from my Husband. — Change 
of Plans. — Cheered while passing through Mobile. — Arrival at Pensa- 
cola. — Astonishment of my Husband. — Sudden Death of my Husband 
by the Bursting of a Carbine. — Determination to go to the Fi-ont. — A 
fascinating Widow. — A Lesson in Courtship. — Starting for the Seat 
of War. — Unpleasant Companions. — A bit of Flirtation with a Colum- 
bia Belle. — In Charge of a Party of Ladies and Children at Lynch- 
burg. — Arrival in Richmond. — Another Lady in Love with me. — The 
Major wants to make a Night of it. — A quiet Game of Cards. — Off for 
the Battle-field 82 



Joining the Army in the Field. —Trying to get a Commission. —The 
Skirmish at Blackburn's Ford. — Burying the Dead. — I attach myself to 
General Bee's Command. —The Night before the Battle of Bull Run. — 
A sound Sleep. — The Morning of the Battle. — A magnificent Scene. — 
The Approach of the Enemy. — Commencement of the Fight. — An 
Exchange of Compliments between old Friends. — Bee's Order to fall 
back, and his Rally. — " Stonewall "Jackson. — The Battle at its Fiercest. 

— The Scene at Midday. — Huge Clouds of Dust and Smoke. — Some 


tough Fighting. — How Beauregard and Johnston rallied their Men. — 
The Contest for the Possession of the Plateau. — Bee and Bartow Killed. 

— Arrival of Kirby Smith with Re-enforcements. — The Victory Won. 

— Application for Promotion. — Return to Richmond 95 



Erroneous Ideas about the War. — Some of the Effects of the Battle of 
Bull Run. — The Victory not in all Respects a Benefit to the Cause of 
the Confederacy. — Undue Elation of Soldiers and Civilians. — Rich- 
mond Demoralized. — A Quarrel with a drunken Officer. — An Insult 
Resented. — I leave Richmond. — Prospect of another Battle. — Cutting 
a Dash in Leesburg. — A little Love Affair. — Stern Parents. — A clan- 
destine Meeting. — Love's young Dream. — Disappointed Affections. — 
In front of the Enemy once More. — A Battle expected to come off. . 107 



An Appetite for Fighting. — The Sensations of the Battle-field. — My sec- 
ond Battle. — The Conflict at Ball's Bluff. — My Arrival at General 
Evans's Headquarters. — Meeting an old Acquaintance. — Hospitalities 
of the Camp. — The Morning of the Battle. — Commencement of the 
Fight. — A fierce Struggle. — In Charge of a Company. — A suspicious 
Story. — Bob figures as a Combatant. — Rout of the Enemy. — The Fed- 
erals driven over the Bluft' into the River. — I capture some Prisoners. 

— A heart-rending Spectacle. — Escape of Colonel Devens, of the Fif- 
teenth Massachusetts Regiment, by swimming across the River. — Sink- 
ing of the Boats with the wounded Federals in Them. — Night, and the 
End of the Battle 115 



Reaction after the Excitements of a Battle. —The Necessity for mental and 
bodily Occupation. — I form a new Project. — War as we imagine it, and 
as it is. — Fighting not the only Thing to be Done. — The Dreams of 
Youth, and the Realities of Experience. — The Secret of Success. — The 
Difficulties which the Confederate Commanders experienced in obtain- 
ing Information of the Movements of the Enemy. —What a Woman 
can do that a Man Cannot. —A Visit to Mrs. Tyree. —The only Way of 
keeping a Secret. — I assume the Garments of my own Sex again as a 
Disguise. — Getting across the Potomac at Night. —Asleep in a Wheat- 
Stack. — A suspicious Farmer. —A Friend in Need. — Maryland Hospi- 
tality. — Off for Washington 126 



Inside the Enemy's Lines. — Arrival at the Federal Capital. — Renewing 
an Acquaintance with an old Friend. —What I found out by a judicious 


System of Questioning. — The Federal Plans with regard to the Missis- 
sippi. — An Attaclc on New Orleans Surmised. — A Tour around Wash- 
ington. — Visit to the War Department, and Interview with Secretary 
Cameron and General Wessells. — An Introduction to the President. — 
Impressions of Mr. Lincoln. — I succeed in finding out a Thing or two 
at the Post-Office. — Sudden Departure from Washington. — Return to 
Leesburg. — Departure for Columbus, Kentucky 136 



At Memphis Again. — Ending my first Campaign. — My Friend the Cap- 
tain and I exchange Notes. — I reach Columbus, and report to General 
Leonidas Polk. — Assigned to Duty as Military Conductor. — Unavail- 
ing Blandishments of the Women. — A mean Piece of Malice. — General 
Lucius M. Polk tries to play a Trick on Me. —The Path of Duty. — The 
General put under Arrest. — An Explanation concerning a one-sided 
Joke. — I become dissatisfied, and tender my Resignation. — A Request 
to Return to Virginia and enter the Secret Service. — Acceptance of my 
Resignation. — The Lull before the Storm 145 



In Search of active Employment. — On the Road to Bowling Green, Ken- 
tucky. — My travelling Companions. — A Halt at Paris. — A hog-killing 
and corn-shucking Frolic. — Dancing all Night in the School-house. — 
A Quilting-Party. — My particular Attentions to a Lady. — The other 
Girls Unhappy. — The Reward of Gallantry. — What General Hardee 
had to say to Rle. — The Woodsonville Fight. — On the back Track for 
Fort Donelson 154 



The Spirit of Partisanship. — My Opinions with regard to the Invincibil- 
ity of the Southern Soldiers. — Unprepared to sustain the Humiliation 
of Defeat. — The Beginning of the End. —At Fort Donelson. —The 
Federal Attack Expected. — Preparations for the Defence. —The Garri- 
son confidentof their Ability to hold the Fort. —The Difference between 
Summer and Winter Campaigning. — Enthusiasm supplanted by Hope 
and Determination. — My Boy Bob and I go to Work in the Trenches. — 
Too much of a Good Thing.'— Dirt-digging not exactly in my Line. — 
The Federals make their Appearance. —The Opening of the Battle.— 
On Picket Duty in the Trenches at Night. —Storm of Snow and Sleet. 

— The bitter Cold. — Cries and Groans of the Wounded. — Mv Clothing 
stiff with Ice. —I find Myself giving Way, but manage to endure until 
the Relief Comes. — Terrible Suffering. — Singular Ideas. — A Four 
Days' Battle. —The Confederate Successes on the first and second Days. 

— The Gunboats driven Off. —Desperate Fighting on the third Dav. — 
A breathmg Spell. — The Confederates finally driven back into the Fort. 

— It IS resolved to Surrender, — Generals Floyd and Pillow make their 


Escape. — Gencrtil Buckner surrenders to General Grant. — Terrible 
Scenes after the Battle is Over. — The Ground strewn for Miles with 
Dead and Dying. — Wounded Men crushed bj the Artillery Wagons. — 
The Houses of the Town of Dover filled with Wounded. — My Depres- 
sion of Spirits on Account of the Terrible Scenes I had Witnessed. . i6i 



Taking a Rest at Nashville. — Again on the March. — I join General A. S. 
Johnston's Army. — Wounded in a Skirmish. — Am afraid of having my 
Sex discovered, and leave suddenly for New Orleans. — In New Orleans I 
am suspected of being a Spy, and am Arrested. — The Officer who makes 
the Arrest in Doubt. — The Provost Marshal orders my Release. — I am 
again arrested by the Civil Authorities on suspicion of being a Woman. 

— No Way out of the Scrape but to reveal my Identity. — Private Inter- 
view with Mayor Monroe. — The Mayor Fines and Imprisons Me. — I 
enlist as a Private Soldier. — On arriving at Fort Pillow, obtain a Trans- 
fer to the Army of East Tennessee 174 



Again at Memphis. — Public and private Difficulties. — Future Prospects. 

— Arrival of my Negro Boy and Baggage from Grand Junction. — A 
new uniform Suit. — Prepared once more to face the World. — I fall in 
with an old Friend. — An Exchange of Compliments. — Late Hours. — 
Some of the Effects of Late Hours. — Confidential Communications. — 
The Course of true Love runs not Smooth. — I renew my Acquaintance 
with General Lucius M. Polk. — The General disposed to be Friendly. — 
My Friend and I call on his Ladj'-love and her Sister. — Surprising Be- 
havior of the young Lady. — A genuine Love-letter. — A Secret Dis- 
closed. — Incidents of a Buggy Ride. — A Declaration of Love. — Lieu- 
tenant H. T. Buford as a Lady-killer. — Why should Women not pop 
the Question as well as Men ? — A melancholy Disclosure for my 
Friend. — I endeavor to encourage Him. — A Visit to the Theatre and 
an enjoyable Evening. — I meet a Friend from New Orleans, and en- 
deavor to remove any Suspicions with regard to my Identity from his 
Mind. — Progress of my Love-affair with Miss M. — The young Lady 
and I have our Pictures Taken. — I proceed to Corinth for the Purpose 
of taking Part in the expected Battle. — The Confederate Army advances 
fi-om Corinth towards Pittsburg Landing 183 



A Surprise upon the Federal Army at Pittsburg Landing Arranged. — A 
brilliant Victory Expected. — I start for the Front, and encamp for the 
Night at Monterey. — My Slumbers disturbed by a Rain-storm. — I find 
General Hardee near Shiloh Church, and ask Permission to take a Hand 
in tlie Fight. — The Opening of the Battle. — Complete Surprise of the 

I Gettysburg, Pa. | 


Federals. — I see my Arkansas Company, and join It. — A Lieutenant 
being killed, I take his Place, amid a hearty Cheer from the Men. — A 
Secret Revealed. — I fight through the Battle under the Command of my 
Lover. — Furious Assaults on the Enemy's Lines. — The Bullets fly 
Thick and Fast. — General Albert Sydney Johnston Killed. — End of the 
First Day's Battle, and Victory for the Confederates. — Beauregard's 
Error in not pursumg his Advantage. — I slip through the Lines after 
Dark, and watch what is going on at Pittsburg Landing. — The Gun- 
boats open Fire. — Unpleasant Effect of Shells from big Guns. — Utter 
Demoralization of the Federals. — Arrival ofBuell with Re-enforcements. 
— General Grant and another general Officer pass near Me in a Boat, 
and I am tempted to take a Shot at Them. — I return to Camp, and wish 
to report what I had seen to General Beauregard, but am dissuaded from 
doing so by my Captain. — Uneasy Slumbers. — Commencement of the 
Second Day's Fight. — The Confederates unable to contend with the 
Odds against Them. — A lost Opportunity. — The Confederates de- 
feated, and compelled to retire from the Field. — I remain in the Woods 
near the Battle-field all Night 200 



The Morning after the Battle of Shiloh. — My Return to Camp. — A Let- 
ter from my Memphis Lady-love. — A sad Case. — My Boy Bob Missing. 

— I start out to search for Him. — A runaway Horse, and a long Tramp 
through the Mud. — Return to the Battle-field. — Horrible Scenes along 
the Road. — Out on a Scouting Expedition. — Burying the Dead. — I 
receive a severe Wound. — Along and painful Ride back to Camp. — 
My Wound dressed by a Surgeon, and my Sex discovered. — A Fugitive. 

— Arrival at Grand Junction. — Crowd of anxious Inquirers. — OflF for 
New Orleans. — Stoppages at Grenada, Jackson, and Osyka on Account 
of my Wound. — The Kindness of Friends. — Fresh Attempt to reach 
New Orleans. — Unsatisfactory Appearance of the Military Situation. — 
The Passage of the Forts by the Federal Fleet. — A new Field of Em- 
ployment opened for Me. — I resume the Garments of my Sex. . . 219 



Capture of Island No. 10. — The impending Attack on New Orleans. — 
The unsatisfactory Military Situation. — Confidence of Everybody in 
the River Defences. — My Apprehensions of Defeat. — The Fall of New 
Orleans. — Excitement in the City on the News of the Passage of the 
Forts being Received. — I resolve to abandon the Career of a Soldier, 
and to resume the Garments of my own Sex. — Appearance of the Fleet 
opposite the City. — Immense Destruction of Property. — My Congrat- 
ulations to Captain Bailey of the Navy. — Mayor Monroe's Refusal to 
raise the Federal Flag. — General Butler assumes Command of the City. 

— Butler's Brutality. — I procure the foreign Papers of an English Lady, 
and strike up an Acquaintance with the Provost Marshal. — Am intro- 
duced to other Officers, and throuifh them gain Access to Headquarters. 

— Colonel Butler furnishes me with the necessary Passes to get through 


the Lines. — I drive an active Trade in Drugs and Confederate Money 
•while carrying Information to and Fro. — Preparations for a grand final 
Speculation in Confederate Money. — I am intrusted with a Despatch 
for the "Alabama," and am started for Havana 232 



A Trip to Havana. — My Purposes in making the Journey. — The Results 
of a Year of Warfare. — Gloomy Prospects. — A Gleam of Hope in Vir- 
ginia. — The Delights of a Voyage on the Gulf of Mexico. — The Island 
of Cuba in Sight. — The Approach to Havana. — I communicate with 
the Confederate Agents and deliver my Despatches. — An Interchange 
of valuable Information. — The Business of Blockade-running and its 
enormous Profits. — The Injury to the Business caused by the Capture 
of New Orleans. — My Return to New Orleans and Preparation for 
future Adventures. 244 



Butler's Rule in New Orleans. — A System of Terrorism. — My Acquaint- 
ance with Federal Officers. — I resume the Business of carrying Infor- 
mation through the Lines. — A Trip to Robertson's Plantation for the 
Purpose of carrying a Confederate Despatch. — A long Tramp after 
Night. — Some of the Incidents of My Journey. — The Alligators and 
Mosquitoes. — Arrival at my Destination, and Delivery of the Despatch 
to a Confederate Officer. — My hospitable Entertainment by Friends of 
the Confederacy. — My Return to New Orleans. — Capture of the Bearer 
of my Despatch, and my Arrest. — I am taken before Butler, who en- 
deavors to extort a Confession from Me. — Butler as a Bully. — I refuse 
to confess, and am ordered to be imprisoned in the Custom-House. — 
My Release, through the Intercession of the British Consul. — I resolve 
to leave New Orleans, for fear of getting into further Trouble. — A Bar- 
gain with a Fisherman to take me across Lake Pontchartrain. — My 
Escape from Butler's Jurisdiction 253 



Uncertainties of the Military Situation. — I go to Jackson, Mississippi. — 
Burning of the Bowman House in that Place by Breckenridge's Soldiers. 
— The unpleasant Position in which Non-combatants were Placed. — 
A Visit to the Camp of General Dan. Adams, and Interview with that 
Officer. — I visit Hazlehurst, and carry a Message to General Gardner at 
Port Hudson. — Recovery of my Negro Boy Bob. — General Van Dorn's 
Raid on Holly Springs. — I resolve to return to Virginia. — The Results 
of two Years of Warfare. — Dark Days for the Confederacy. — Fighting 
against Hope 268 




Commencement of a new Campaign. — Return to Richmond, and Arrest 
on Suspicion of being a Woman. — Imprisonment in Castle Thunder. — 
Kindness to Me of Major J. W. Alexander and his Wife. — I refuse to 
resume the Garments of my Sex. — I am released, and placed on Duty 
in the Secret Service Corps. — General Winder, the Chief of the Secret 
Service Bureau. — A remarkable Character. — General Winder sends me 
with blank Despatches to General Van Dorn to try Me. — A Member of 
the North Carolina Home Guards attempts to arrest Me at Charlotte. — 
I resist the Arrest, and am permitted to Proceed. — The Despatches 
delivered to Van Dorn in Safety. — My Arrest in Lynchburg. — The 
Rumors that were in Circulation about Me. — I am pestered with curious 
Visitors. — A Couple of Ladies deceived by a simple Trick. — A comical 
Interview with an old Lady. — She declares herself insulted. — An 
insulting Letter from a general Officer. — My indignant Reply, and Offer 
to fight Him. — I obtain my Release, and leave Lynchburg. .... 276 



At Charlotte, North Carolina. — Arrival of Longstreet's Corps, on its 
Way to re-enforce Bragg's Army. — I obtain Permission for Myself and 
other Officers to go on the Train Southward. — I arrive in Atlanta, 
Georgia, and receive Letters from several Members of my Family. — I 
learn for the first Time that my Brother is in the Confederate Army. — 
I receive Information of the Officer to whom I am engaged to be mar- 
ried, and whom I have not seen since the Battle of Shiloh. — I make an 
Attempt to reach Him, but am unable to do so. — Failing in an En- 
deavor to become attached to General Armstrong's Command, I deter- 
mine to undertake an Expedition through the Lines. — Finding a Sup- 
ply of female Garments in a deserted Farm-house, I attire Myself as a 
Woman. — My Uniform hid in an Ash-barrel. — An Invasion of the 
Dairy. — I start for the Federal Lines 288 



The Duties of Spies. — The Necessity for their Employment. — The Status 
of Spies, and the extraordinary Perils they Run. — Some Remarks about 
the Secret Service, and the Necessity for its Improvement. — I reach the 
Federal Lines, and obtain a Pass to go North from General Rosecrans. 

— On my Travels in search of Information. — Arrival at Martinsburg, 
and am put in the Room of a Federal Officer. — A Disturbance in the 
Night. — " Who is that Woman ?" — I make an advantageous Acquain- 
tance. — A polite Qiiartermaster. — All about a pretended dead Brother. 

— How Secret Service Agents go about their Work. — A Visit to my 
pretended Brother's Grave, and what I gained by It. — I succeed in giv- 
ing one of Mosby's Pickets an important Bit of Information. — The 
polite Attention of Federal Officers. — I return to Chatanooga, and 


resume my Confederate Uniform. — A perilous Attempt to reach the 
Confederate Lines. — What a Drink of Whiskey can do. — I become 
lame in my wounded Foot, and am sent to Atlanta for medical Treat- 
ment 2q8 



The Kind of People an Army is made up Of. — Gentlemen and Black- 
guards. — The Demoralization of Warfare. — How I managed to keep 
out of Difficulties. — The Value of a fighting Reputation. — A Quarrel 
with a drunken General. — I threaten to shoot Him. — My Illness, and 
the kind Attentions received from Friends. — I am admitted to the Em- 
pire Hospital. — The Irksomeness of a Sick-bed. — I learn that my 
Lover is in the same Hospital, and resolve to see him as soon as I am 
Convalescent 310 



Sick-bed Fancies. — Reflections on my military Career. — I almost resolve 
to abandon the Garb of a Soldier. — DiflSculties in the Way of achieving 
Greatness. — Warfare as a laborious Business. — The Favors of Fortune 
sparingly Bestowed. — Prospective Meeting with my Lover. — Anxiety 
to know what he would think of the Course I had been pursuing in fig- 
uring in the Army as a Man. — A strange Courtship. — More like a 
Chapter of Romance than a grave Reality. — My Recollections of an 
old Spanish Story, read in my Childhood, that in some Respects reminds 
me of my own Experiences — The Story of Estela. — How the Desires 
of a Pair of Lovers were opposed by stern Parents. — An Elopement 
Planned. — The Abduction of Estela through the Instrumentality of a 
Rival. — She is carried off by Moorish Pirates, and sold as a Slave. — 
Her Escape from Slavery, and how she entered the Army of the Em- 
peror disguised as a Man. — Estela saves the Emperor's Life, and is pro- 
moted to a high Office — Her Meeting with her Lover, and her Endeav- 
ors to make him confess his Faith in her Honor. — The Appointment 
of Estela as Governor of her native City. — The Trial of her Lover on 
the Charge of having murdered her. — Happy Ending of the Story. — I 
am inspired, by my Recollections of the Story of Estela, to hear from 
the Lips of my Lover his Opinion of me before I reveal myself to him. 
— Impatient Waiting for the Hour of Meeting 317 



Convalescence. — I pay a Visit to my Lover. — A friendly Feeling. — A 
Surprise in Store for him. — I ask him about his Matrimonial Prospects, 
and endeavor to ascertain the State of his Affections towards me. — An 
affecting Scene. — The Captain receives a Letter from his Lady-love. — 
" She has come ! She has come ! " — The Captain prepares for a Meet- 
ing with his Sweetheart. — A Question of Likeness. — A puzzling Sit- 


uation. — I reveal my Identity. — Astonishment and Joy of my Lover. 

— Preparations for our Wedding. — A very quiet Affair Proposed. — 
The Wedding. — A short Honej'moon. — Departure of my Husband for 
the Front. — My Apprehensions for his Health. — My Apprehensions 
justified in the News of his Death in a Federal Hospital in Chatanooga. 

— Once more a Widow^ 326 



Altered Circumstances. — The Result of two Years and a half Experience 
in Warfare. — The Difference between the Emotions of a raw Recruit 
and a Veteran. — Difficulties in the Way of deciding what Course it was 
best to pursue for the Future. — I resolve to go to Richmond in Search 
of active Employment of some Kind. — The Military Situation in the 
Autumn of 1863. — Concentration of the Armies at Richmond and Chat- 
anooga. — Richmond safe from Capture. — The Results of the Battle of 
Chickamauga. — Rosecrans penned up in Chatanooga by Bragg. — The 
Pinch of the Fight Approaching. — Hopes of foreign Intervention. — 
An apparently encouraging Condition of Affairs. — I go to Richmond, 
and have Interviews with President Davis and General Winder. — I am 
furnished by the Latter with a Letter of Recommendation, and start on a 
grand Tour through the Confederacy. — Arrival at Mobile, and Meeting 
with old Army Friends 339 



I receive a mysterious Note, requesting me to meet the Writer. — I go to 
the appointed Place, and find an Officer of the Secret Service Corps, 
who wants me to go through the Lines with Despatches. — I accept the 
Commission, and the next Day go to Meridian for the Purpose of com- 
pleting my Arrangement and receiving my Instructions. — A Visit to 
General Ferguson's Headquarters. — Final Instructions from the Gen- 
eral, who presents me with a Pistol. — I start for the Federal Lines, and 
ride all Night and all the next Day. — A rouyh and toilsome Journey. — 
I spend the Night in a Negro's Cabin. — Off again at three o'clock in 
the Morning with an old Negro Man for a Guide. — We reach the Neigh- 
borhood of the Federal Pickets, and I send my Guide back. — I bury my 
Pistol in a Church. — I am halted by a Picket-guard, and am taken to 
Moscow. — A Cross-examination by the Colonel in Command. — Satis- 
factory Result for Myself. — On the Train for Memphis. — Insulting 
Remarks from the Soldiers. — A Major interferes for my Protection. — 
Off for General Washburn's Headquarters 348 




My Friend, the Lieutenant, concludes that he will make himself better 
acquainted with me. — Indiscreet Confidences. — Some of the Traits of 


Human Nature. — The Kind of Secrets Women can Keep. — Women 
better than Men for certain Kinds of Secret Service Duty. — The Lieu- 
tenant wants to know all about me. — I suspect that he has Matrimonial 
Inclinations. — He is anxious to discover whether I have any wealthy 
Relations. — I am induced to think that I can make him useful in obtain- 
ing Information with regard to the Federal Movements. — The Lieuten- 
ant expresses his Opinion about the War. — Arrival at Memphis. — 
Visit to the Provost Marshal's Office. — General Washburn too ill to see 
me. — I enclose him the bogus Despatch I have for him, with an ex- 
planatory Note. — The Lieutenant escorts me to the llardwick House, 
and I request him to call in the Morning. — Procuring a Change of 
Dress through One of the Servants, I slip out, and have an Interview 
with my Confederate, and give him the Despatch for General Forrest. 

— On returning to the Hotel, I meet the Lieutenant on the Street, but 
manage to pass him without being observed. — Satisfactory Accom- 
plishment of my Errand 362 




A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed. — The Lieutenant aids me in pro- 
curing a new Wardrobe. — I succeed in finding out all I want to know 
about the Number and the Disposition of the Federal Troops on the 
Line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. — A Movement made in 
accordance with the bogus Despatch which I had brought to General 
Washburn. — Forrest makes his Raid, and I pretend to be alarmed lest 
the Rebels should capture me. — The Lieutenant continues his Atten- 
tions, and Something occurs to induce me to change my Plans. — I have 
an Interview with an Officer of my Brother's Command, and learn that 
he is a Prisoner. — I resolve to go to him, and leave for the North on 
a Pass furnished by General Washburn. — At Louisville I have an In- 
terview with a mysterious secret Agent of the Confederacy, Nvho supplies 
me with Funds. — On reaching Columbus, Ohio, I obtain a Permit to 
see my Brother. — Through the Agency of Governor Brough my Brother 
is released, and we go East together, — he to New York, I to Wash- 
ington 373 



New Scenes and new Associations. — My first Visit to the North. — The 
Wealth and Prosperity of the North contrasted with the Poverty and 
Desolation of the South. — Much of the northern Prosperity fictitious. 

— The anti-war Party and its Strength. — How some of the People of 
the North made Money during the War. — "Loyal" Blockade-runners 
and Smugglers. — Confederate Spies and Emissaries in the Government 
Offices. — The Opposition to the Draft. — The bounty-jumping Frauds. 

— My Connection with them. — Operations of the Confederate Secret 
Service Agents. — Other Ways of fighting the Enemy than by B.ittles in 
the Field. — I arrange a Plan of Operations, and place myself in com- 
munication with the Confederate Authorities at Richmond, and also 
with Federal Officials at Washington and Elsewhere. — I abandon Fight- 
ing for Strategy 383 




Studj'ing the Situation. — I renew my Acquaintance with old Friends of 
the Federal Army. — Half-formed Plans. — I obtain an Introduction to 
Colonel Lafayette C Baker, Chief of the United States Secret Service 
([^orps. — Colonel Baker and General Winder of the Confederate Secret 
Service compared. — Baker a good Detective Officer, but far inferior to 
"Winder as the Head of a Secret Service Department. — I solicit Employ- 
ment from Baker as a Detective, and am indorsed by my Friend General 
A. — Baker gives a rather indefinite Answer to my Application. — I go 
to New York, and fall in with Confederate Secret Service Agents, who 
employ me to assist them in various Schemes. — Learning the Ropes. — 
I send Intelligence of my Movements to Richmond, and am enrolled as 
a Confederate Agent. — I have several Interviews with Baker, and suc- 
ceed in gaining his Confidence. — Baker's Surprise and Disgust at 
various Times at his Plans leaking Out. —The Secret of the Leakage 
Revealed 39^ 



An Attack on the Rear of the Enemy in Contemplation. — The Difficulties 
in the Way of its Execution. — What it was expected to Accomplish. — 
The Federals to be placed between two Fires. — I have an Interview 
with Colonel Baker, and propose a Trip to Richmond. — He assents, 
and furnishes me with Passes and Means to make the Journey. — I run 
through the Lines, and reach Richmond in Safety. — I return by a 
roundabout Route, laden with Despatches, Letters, Commercial Orders, 
Money Drafts, and other valuable Documents. — I am delayed in Balti- 
more, and fall short of Money. — The Difficulties I had in getting my 
Purse filled. — Sickness. — I visit Lewes, Delaware, and deliver Instruc- 
tions to a Blockade-runner. — On reaching New York I learn that a De- 
tective is after me. — I start fof Canada, and meeting the Detective in 
the Cars, strike up an Acquaintance with him. — He shows me a Pho- 
tograph, supposed to be of myself, and tells me what his Plans are 

The Detective baffled, and my safe Arrival in Canada. — Hearty Wel- 
come by the Confederates there. — I transact my Business, and prepare 
to return 403 



I return to Washington for the Purpose of reporting to Colonel Baker. — 
Apprehensions with regard to the Kind of Reception I am likely to have 
from him. — The Colonel amiable, and apparently unsuspicious. — I 
give him an Account of my Richmond Trip, and receive his Congrat- 
ulations. — General A. calls on me, and he. Baker, and I go to the The- 
atre. — A Supper at the Grand Hotel. — Baker calls on me the next 
Morning, and proposes that I shall visit the Military Prisons at John- 
son's Island and elsewhere, for the Purpose of discovering whether the 
Confederate Prisoners have any Intentions of Escaping. — I accept the 
Commission, and start for the West. — Reflections on the Military and 
Political Situations 420 




On the Way to Sandusky. — I am introduced to a Federal Lieutenant on 
the Cars, who is conducting Confederate Prisoners to Johnson's Island. 

— He permits me to converse with the Prisoners, and I distribute some 
Money among them. — Arrival at Sandusky. — First View of Johnson's 
Island. — I visit the Island, and, on the strength of Colonel Baker's Let- 
ter, am permitted to go into the Enclosure and converse with the Pris- 
oners. — I have a Talk with a young Confederate Officer, and give him 
Money and Despatches, and explain what is to be done for the Libera- 
tion of himself and his Companions. — Returning to Sandusky, I send 
Telegraphic Despatches to the Agents in Detroit, Buffalo, and Indianap- 
olis. — How the grand Raid was to have been made. — Its Failure 
through the Treason or Cowardice of one Man 433 



I deliver Despatches to Agents in Indianapolis. — Waiting for Orders. — 
I obtain Access to the Prison Camp, and confer with a Confederate Offi- 
cer confined there. — I apply to Governor Morton for Employment, and 
am sent by him to the Arsenal. — I obtain a Situation in the Arsenal, 
and am set to work packing Cartridges. — I form a Project for blowing 
up the Arsenal. — Reasons for its Abandonment. — I receive a suspi- 
cious Number of Letters. — How I obtained my Money Package from 
the Express Office. — I go to St. Louis, and endeavor to obtain Employ- 
ment at the Planters' House, for the Purpose of enabling me to gain 
Information from the Federal Officers lodging there. — Failing in this, 
I strike up an Acquaintance with a Chambermaid, and by Means of her 
Pass Key gain Access to several Rooms. — I gain some Information 
from Despatches which I find, and am very nearly detected by a Bell 
Boy. — I go to Hannibal to deliver a Despatch relating to the Indians. — 
Hearing of the Failure of the Johnson's Island Raid, I return East, and 
send in my Resignation to Colonel Baker 444 



Making Preparations for going into Business as a Blockade-runner. — The 
Trade in Contraband Goods by Northern Manufacturers and Merchants. 

— Profits versus Patriotism. — The secret History of the War yet to be 
told. — This Narrative a Contribution to it. — Some dark Transactions 
of which I was Cognizant. — Purchasing Goods for the Southern Mar- 
ket, and shipping them on Board of a Schooner in the North River. — 
How such Transactions were managed. — The Schooner having sailed, 
I go to Havana by Steamer. — On reaching Havana I meet some old 
Friends. — The Condition of the blockade-running Business during the 
last Year of the War. — My Acquaintances in Havana think that the 
Prospects of the Confederacy are rather gloomy. — I visit Barbadoes, 


and afterwards St. Thomas. — While at St. Thomas the Confederate 
Cruiser Florida comes in, coals, and gets to Sea again, despite the Fed- 
eral Fleet watching her 454 



The Bounty-jumping and Substitute-brokerage Business. — Rascalities in 
high Life and low Life. — Bounty-jumpers and Substitute-brokers not 
the worst Rogues of the Period. — High Officials of the Government 
implicated in Swindles. — Baker's Raid on the Treasury Ring, and the 
Charges of Conspiracy brought against him by Members of Congress 
and others. — A Committee of Congress exonerates the guilty Parties, 
and blames Baker for exposing them. — What I know about these 
Transactions. — Money needed to carry on the Confederate Operations 
at the North. — Federal Officials countenancing the Issue of counterfeit 
Confederate Bonds and Notes. — I go to Washington for the Purpose of 
getting in with the Treasury Ring. — A rebel Clerk introduces me to a 
high Official, who, on Condition of sharing in the Profits, introduces 
me to the Printing Bureau of the Treasury. — The Trade with England 
in bogus Federal and Confederate Securities. — Making Johnny Bull 
pay some of the Expenses of the War 464 



Introduction to an Official of the Printing Bureau of the Treasury Depart- 
ment. — The Chief of the Treasury Ring. — I am referred by him to 
another Person in the Bureau, who arranges for a private Interview 
with me under a Cedar Tree in the Smithsonian Grounds. — The Influ- 
ence of certain Rascals in the Treasury Department with Secretary 
Chase and other high Officials. — The Scandals about the Women Em- 
ployees in the Department. — Baker's Investigation baffled. — The Case 
of Dr. Gwynn. — The Conference under the Cedar Tree. — A grand 
Scheme for speculating with Government Funds. — I obtain Possession 
of an Electrotype Fac-Simile of a One-Hundred Dollar Compound Interest 
Plate. — A Package of Money left for me under the Cedar Tree. — Spec- 
ulation in bogus Confederate and Federal Notes and Bonds. — How the 
Thing was Managed. — Increase of illicit Speculation as the War Pro- 
gressed. — Bankers, Brokers, and other Men of high Reputation impli- 
cated in it. — Counterfeiting, to a practically unlimited Extent, carried 
on with the Aid of Electrotypes furnished from the Treasury Depart- 
ment. — Advantages taken by the Confederate Agent of the general 
Demoralization 476 



The Bounty-jumping and Substitute-brokerage Frauds, and their Origin. 
— New York the Headquarters of the Bounty and Substitute-Brokers. — 
Prominent Military Officers and Civilians implicated in the Frauds. — 
How newly-enlisted Men managed to escape from Governor's Island. — 


Castle Garden the great Resort of Substitute-brokers. — How the poor 
Foreigners were entrapped by lying Promises made to them. — How 
these Frauds could have been prevented by an impartial Conscrip- 
tion Law impartially administered. — Colonel Baker arrives in New 
York for the Purpose of commencing an Investigation. — He asks me to 
assist him, which I consent to do, after warning my Associates. — How 
Baker went to Work. — Striking up an Acquaintance with Jim Fisk. — 
Fisk gives me Money for a Charitable Object, and Railroad Passes for 
poor Soldiers. — An Oil Stock Speculation 4S8 



Another Expedition to the West. — Hiring out as a House Servant. — A 
Termagant Mistress. — Obtaining a Situation in a Copperhead Family. 

— Introduction to Confederate Sympathizers. — A Contribution to the 
Fund for the Relief of Confederate Prisoners. — I go to Canada, and 
from there to New York, with Orders for various Confederate Agents. — 
Sherman's March through the Carolinas. — I am induced to go to Lon- 
don on a financial Mission. — Unsatisfactory News received, and I hasten 
Home. — The News of Lee's Surrender brought on board the Steamer 
by the Pilot. — Excitement in Wall Street. — A Settlement with my Part- 
ner, and the last of my secret Banking 499 



Another Western Trip. — Delivering Despatches to Quantrell's Courier. 

— A Stoppage at Columbus, Ohio. — News of the Assassination of 
President Lincoln. — Return to New York. — Derangement of Plans 
caused by the Assassination. — I again go West. — Mr. Lincoln's Body 
lying in State at Columbus. — Return to Washington, and Interview 
with Baker. — I meet a Confederate Officer, and get him to take a Mes- 
sage for me to the South. — An aged Admirer. — Colonel Baker pro- 
poses that I shall start on an Expedition in Search of myself. — A Letter 
from my Brother, and a Request to meet him in New York. — A Deter- 
mination to visit Europe. — I accept Baker's Commission, and start for 
New York 508 



Off for Europe. — Seasickness. — An over-attentive Doctor. — Advantages 
of knowing more Languages than one. — A young Spaniard in Love. 

— Arrival in London. — Paris and its Sights. — Rheims and the Cham- 
pagne Country'. — Frankfort on the Main. — A beautiful Country, and a 
thriving People. — A Visit to Poland. — Return to Paris, and Meeting 
with old Confederates. — Friends who knew me, and who did not know 
me. — Finding out what my old Army Associates thought of Me. — 
Back to London. — A Visit to Hyde Park, and a Sight of Queen Vic- 
toria. — Manchester and its Mills. — Homeward Bound. — Return to 
New York, and Separation from my Brother and his Family. ... 519 




A Southern Tour. — Visit to Baltimore and Washington. — The Desola- 
tions of War as visible in Richmond, Columbia, and Charlotte. — A 
Race with a Federal Officer at Charleston. — Meeting with old Friends 
at Atlanta. — A Surprise for one of them. — Travelling over my old 
Campaigning Ground. — The Forlorn Appearance of Things in New 
Orleans. — Emigration Projects. — I make some Investigation into them, 
and decide to go to South America for the Purpose of looking at the 
Country, and reporting to my Friends. — The Venezuelan Expedition 
and its Projector. — I suspect that it is a mere Speculation, but conclude 
to accompany it. — My third Marriage. — I endeavor to persuade my 
Husband to seek a Home in the Far West, but on his Refusal, sail with 
him for Venezuela. — Forty-nine Persons packed in a small Schooner, 
with no Conveniences, and with scanty Provisions. — A horrible Voyage. 
— Sighting the Mouth of the River Orinoco 531 



Taking a Pilot on Board. — A perplexing Predicament. — Beautiful Scen- 
ery along the Orinoco. — Negro Officials. — Disgust of some of the 
Emigrants. — Frightened Natives. — Arrival at the City of Bolivar. — 
The United States Consul ashamed of the Expedition. — Death of my 
Husband. — Another Expedition makes its Appearance. — Sufferings of 
the Emigrants. — I write a Letter to my Friends in New Orleans, warn- 
ing them not to come to Venezuela. — Rival Lovers. — I conclude that I 
have had enough of Matrimony, and encourage neither of them. — A 
Trip by Sea to La Guyra and Caraccas. — I prepare to leave. — What I 
learned in Venezuela. — The Resources of the Country 542 



From Venezuela to Demerara. — The Hotels of Georgetown, Demerara. — 
The United States Consul at Georgetown. — A Visit to a Coffee Planta- 
tion. — A Cooly murders his Wife. — Excitement in the Streets of 
Georgetown. — The Products of Demerara. — Fort Spain, Trinidad. — A 
very dirty Town. — Bridgetown, BUrbadoes. — Having a good Time 
among old Friends. — A Drive to Speightstown. — St. Lucia. — The old 
Homestead. — Reminiscences of Childhood. — The Past, the Present, 
and the Future. — The Family Burying-ground 553 



St. Thomas. — A cordial Welcome. — A Reception at the Hotel. — Points 
of Interest at St. Thomas. — The Escape of the Florida. — Santiago de 
Cuba. — Hospitalities. — Havana. — Visits from my Relatives. — Cour- 
tesies from Spanish Officials and others. — I take part in a Procession, 


attired as a Spanish Officer. — General Mansana taken sick. — A 
Steamer in the Harbor, with Emigrants from the United States on board, 
bound for Para. — I endeavor to persuade them to Return. — Death of 
General Mansana. — I start for New York 562 



Across the Continent in search of a Fortune. — Omaha. — A Meeting with 
the veteran General Harney. — Governor C. asks me to introduce him to 
the General. — The Backwoodsman and the veteran Soldier. — The Gen- 
eral induces me to tell the Story of my Career, and gives me some good 
Advice. — Off for a long Stage-coach Ride. — Rough Fellow-Travellers. 

— An unmannerly Army Officer taught Politeness. — Julesburg. — An 
undesirable Place for a permanent Residence. — An atrocious Murder. — 
More unpleasant travelling Companions. — Cheyenne. — A Frontier 
Hotel. — Lack of even decent Accommodations. — An undesirable Bed- 
fellow. — A Visit to Laporte. — Again on the Road. — A Water-Spout in 
Echo Canon. — The Coach caught in a Qiiicksand. — Mormon Hospi- 
talities. — Salt Lake City. — Arrival at the City of Austin, Nevada. . 570 



Noisy Neighbors. — A Nevada Desperado. — The Aristocracy of Austin. 

— My Marriage. — Speculation in Mines and Mining Stock. — Removal 
to Sacramento Valley, California. — Off for the Gold Regions again. — A 
characteristic Fraud. — "Salting" a Mine. —The Wellington District. 

— A Description of the Country, and its Animal, Vegetable, and Min- 
eral Products. — A Residence in Salt Lake City. — Acquaintance with 
prominent Mormons, and Inquiries into the Nature of their Belief. — 
Mormon Principles and Practices. — Salt Lake City and its Surround- 
ings. — The Mineral Wealth of Utah. — Preparing to Return to the 
East 584 


Denver. — Pueblo. — Trinidad. — Stockton's Ranche. — A Headquarters 
for Desperadoes. — Cattle Stealing. — A private Graveyard. — Maxwell's 
Ranche. — Dry Cimmaron. — Fort Union. — Santa Fe. — The oldest 
City in New Mexico. — A Wagon Journey down the Valley of the Rio 
Grande. — Evidences of Ancient Civilization. — Fort McRae and the 
Hot Spring. — Mowry City. — The Gold Mining Region of New Mexico 
and Arizona. — El Paso. — A thriving Town. — A Stage Ride through 
Western Texas. — Fort Bliss. — Fort Qiiitman and Eagle Spring. — The 
Leon Holes. — Fort Stockton. — The Rio Pecos. — A fine Country. — 
Approaching Civilization. — The End of the Story 597 


»> } ^ } ^KZl^<^< 



The Woman in Battle. — Heroines of History. — Joan of Arc. — A Desire 
to emulate Her. — The Opportunity that was offered. — Breaking out of 
the War between the North and the South. — Determination to take 
part in the Contest. — A noble Ancestr)'. — The Velazquez Family. — My 
Birth at Havana. — Removal of my Family to Mexico. — The War be- 
tween the United States and Mexico. — Loss of my Father's Estates. — 
Return of the Family to Cuba. — My early Education. — At School in New 
Orleans. — Castles in the Air. — Romantic Aspirations. — Trying to be 
a Man. — Midnight Promenades before the Mirror in Male Attire. 

HE woman in battle is an infrequent 
figure on the pages of history, and 
yet, what would not history lose 
Avere the glorious records of the hero- 
ines, — the great-souled women, who 
have stood in the front rank where 
the battle was hottest and the fray 
most deadly, — to be obliterated? 
When women have rushed to the 
lattle-field they have invariably dis- 
I inguished themselves ; and their 
-, -_^ ^ courage, their enthusiasm, and their 

%/^^^ Z~^ <levotion to the cause espoused, have 

^ ^""^ .^ excited the brave among the men 

around them to do and to dare to 
the utmost, and have shamed the cowards into believing that it 
was worth while to peril life itself in a noble cause, and that 

3 3a 


honor to a soldier ought to be more valuable than even life. 
The records of the women who have taken up arms in the 
cause of home and country ; who have braved tlie scandals of 
the camp ; who have hazarded reputation, — reputation dearer 
than life, — and who have stood in the imminent deadly- 
breach, defying the enemy, if not so imposing in numbers as 
those in which the deeds of male warriors are recited, are 
glorious nevertheless ; and if steadfast courage, true-hearted 
loyalty, and fiery enthusiasm go for anything, women have 
nothing to blush for in the martial deeds of those of their sex 
who have stood upon the battle-field. 

Far back in the early days of the Hebrew commonwealth 
Deborah rallied the despairing warriors of Israel, and led them 
to victory. Semiramis, the Queen of the Assyrians, com- 
manded her armies in person. Tomyris, the Scythian queen, 
after the defeat of the army under the command of her son, 
Spargopises, took the field in person, and outgeneralling the 
Persian king, Cyrus, routed his vastly outnumbering forces 
with great slaughter, the king himself being among the slain. 
Boadicea, the British queen, resisted the Roman legions to 
the last, and fought the invaders with fury when not a man 
could be found to lead the islanders to battle. Bona Lom- 
bardi, an Italian peasant girl, fought in male attire by the 
side of her noble husband, Brunaro, on more than one hotly 
contested field ; and on two occasions, when he had been taken 
prisoner and placed in close confinement, she effected his re- 
lease by her skill and valor. 

The Nun-Lieutenant. 

Catalina de Eranso, the 3Ionja Alferez, or the nun-lieuten- 
ant, who was born in the city of Sebastian, Spain, in 1585, was 
one of the most remarkable of the heroines who have distin- 
guished themselves by playing the masculine role, and ven- 
turing into positions of deadly peril. This woman, becoming 
disgusted with the monotony of convent life, made her escape, 
and in male garb joined one of the numerous expeditions then 
fitting out for the New World. Her intelligence and undaunted 
valor soon attracted the notice of her superior officers, and 
she was rapidly promoted. Participating in a number of hard- 
fought battles, she won the reputation of being an unusually 
skilful and daring soldier, and would have achieved both fame 
and fortune, were it not that her fiery temper embroiled her 


in frequent quarrels with her associates. One of her many- 
disagreements resulted in a duel, in which she had the misfor- 
tune to kill her antagonist, and, to escape the vengeance of 
his friends, she was compelled to fly. After traversing a large 
portion of the New World, and encountering innumerable perils, 
she returned to Europe, where she found that the trumpet of 
fame was already heralding her name, and that there was the 
greatest curiosity to see her. Travelling through Spain and 
Italy, she had numerous exceedingly romantic adventures ; 
and while in the last named country she managed to obtain an 
interview with Pope Urban VIII., who was so pleased with 
her appearance and her conversation that he granted her per- 
mission to wear male attire during the balance of her life. 

Within the pAst hundred years more than one heroine has 
stamped her name indelibly upon the role of fame. All Amer- 
cans know how brave Molly Pitcher, at the battle of Mon- 
mouth, busied herself in carrying water to the parched and 
wearied soldiers, and how, when her husband was shot down 
at his gun, instead of, woman fashion, sorrowing for him with 
unavailing tears, she sprang to take his place, and through the 
long, hot summer's day fought the foreign emissaries who were 
seeking to overthrow the liberties of her country, until, with 
decimated ranks they fled, defeated from the field. 

At the seige of Saragossa, in 1808, when Palafox, and the 
men under his command, despaired of being able to resist the 
French, Agostino, " the maid of Saragossa," appeared upon 
the scene, and with guerra al cuchiUo — " war to the knife " — 
as her battle-cry, she inspired the general and his soldiers to 
fight to the last in resisting the French invaders, and by her 
words and deeds became the leading spirit in one of the most 
heroic defences of history. 

Appolonia Jagiello. 

Nearer our own time Appolonia Jagiello fought valiantly 
for the liberation of Poland and Hungary. She had kingly 
blood in her veins, and her heart burned within her at the 
wrongs which her native country, Poland, sujffered at the 
hands of her oppressors. When the insurrection at Cracow 
took place, in 1846, she assumed male attire, and went into the 
thickest of the fight. The insurrection was a failure, although 
it might not have been had the men who began it been as 
stout-hearted and as enthusiastic in a great cause as Appolo- 


nia Jagiello. In 1848 she participated in another outbreak at 
Cracow, and distinguished herself as one of the most valorous 
of the combatants. After the failure of this attempt at re- 
bellion she went to Vienna, where she took part in an engage- 
ment in the faubourg Widen. Her object in visiting the 
Austrian capital, however, was chiefly to ascertain the exact 
character of the struggle which was in progress, in order to 
carry information to the Hungarians. After numerous per- 
ilous adventures she joined the Hungarian forces, and fought 
at the battle of Enerzey, in which the Austrians were de- 
feated, and on account of the valor she displayed was pro- 
moted to the rank of lieutenant. After this she joined an 
expedition under General Klapka, which assaulted and took 
the city of Raab. When the Hungarians were finally defeated 
and there was no longer any hope that either Hungary or 
Poland would gain their independence. Mademoiselle Jagiello 
came to the United States, in 1848, with other refugees, and 
for a number of years resided in the city of Washington, re- 
spected and beloved by all who knew her. No braver soldier 
than this lady ever trod the field of battle, while the universal 
testimony of all who were honored with her acquaintance is, 
that she was a most womanly woman, and was lacking in 
nothing that makes true womanhood esteemed by right-think- 
ing peoi^le. 

Joan of Arc. 

But, whenever I think of the women who have distin- 
guished themselves in battle, my afiections turn to the 
greatest and noblest of them all, and my imagination fires 
with a desire to emulate the glorious deeds of Joan of Arc, the 
Maid of Orleans. A religious enthusiast, as Avell as a born 
leader of men, and a martial genius of the first order, this great 
woman infused, by the power of her matchless eloquence, 
courage and determination into the heart of a weak, cowardly, 
and vacillating king, and then, seizing the banner of France, 
she rallied the defeated and demoralized armies, and led them 
with terrible efiect against the British foe. At last, betrayed 
into the hands of her enemies, she suffered Avitli all the un- 
bending courage of her heroic nature, a martyrdom at the 
stake, which, while it embalmed her memory in the hearts of 
the French people, covered with shame the names of the 
cowardly ruffians who decreed her death on a pretended 
charge, because they were afraid to let her live for fear that 


her existence, even as a prisoner, would be a perpetual men- 
ace to them, and a perpetual encouragement to the French 
people to fight to the death. The statue of Joan of Arc, chis- 
elled by the fair hands of a French princess, stands to-day in 
the market-place at Rouen where she suffered, and the mem- 
ory of her glorious deeds as a great-hearted patriot remains 
to all time as an example of what a woman may do if she only 
dares, and dares to do greatly. 

From my early childhood Joan of Arc was my favorite 
heroine ; and many a time has my soul burned with an over- 
whelming desire to emulate her deeds of valor, and to make 
for myself a name which, like hers, would be enrolled in letters 
of gold among the women who had the courage to fight like 
men — ay, better than most men — for a great cause, for 
friends, and for father-land. 

At length an opportunity offered, in the breaking out of the 
conflict between the North and the South in 1861, for me to 
carry out my long-cherished ideas ; and it was embraced 
with impetuous eagerness, combined with a calm determina- 
tion to see the thing through, and to shrink from nothing that 
such a step would involve. 

My opportunities and my circumstances were different from 
those of my ideal woman, Joan of Arc, and consequently my 
story has but little resemblance to hers. I did all that it was 
possible for me to do, however, for the cause I espoused, and 
the great French heroine did no more. Happily I escaped 
her dreadful fate, and live to relate the many adventures that 
befell me while playing the part of a warrior. So many per- 
sons have assured me that my story — prosaic as much of it 
seems to me — is fiill of romance, and that it cannot fail to 
interest readers both South and North, that I have been in- 
duced to narrate it for the benefit of those who wish to make 
the acquaintance of a woman warrior, and to be entertained, 
and perhaps instructed, by a recital of her adventures. If 
there are any such, — and I am sure there are, — they will 
find in these pages an unaffected and unpretending, but truth- 
ful, and I hope interesting narrative of what befell me while 
attached to the army of the Confederate States of America, 
and while performing services other than those of a strictly 
military character under the pseudonyme of Lieutenant Harry 
T. Buford. 

Hundreds, nay thousands of officers and men in the Con- 
federate service, knew me well under this name, and although 


my disguise was finally penetrated, and I was forced to resume 
the garments of my sex, it is probable that a vast number 
of my late associates will now for the first time learn that the 
handsome young officer — I was accounted an uncommonly 
good-looking fellow, when dressed in my best uniform, in 
those days — was a woman, and a woman who was mentally 
making some very uncomplimentary notes with regard to 
much of their very naught}^ conversation. My experience 
is, that the language used by the very best men in masculine 
society is too often not such as pure-minded women would 
like to listen to, while that of the worst is so utterly revolting, 
that it is a pity some men cannot always have decent women 
at their elbows to keep their tongues from being fouled with 
blasphemy and obscenity. I hope that some of my late 
associates, when they learn that the Lieutenant Harry T. 
Buford, whose ears were so often gi-eeted by their profanity 
and ribaldry, will have enough selfrespect to blush with 
shame at having addressed the language they did to a woman, 
and a modest woman at that. 

What I have just said will give a hint of some of the most 
unpleasant incidentals of the role which I undertook to play. 
I was not to be deterred, however, from carrying out my 
plans by the bad language I was compelled to listen to, nor by 
any other of the disagreeable features of camp life. How 
well I did play my part, happily does not depend upon my 
own testimony alone, for some of the most distinguished 
ofiicers of the Confederate army, and many equally dis- 
tinguished civilians, can and will testify to the truthfulness 
of the story I am about to relate, and to the unblemished 
character I bore while in the Confederate service. I not 
only assumed the garment of my sex once more with the 
credit of having done the state some important services, and 
of having labored with efficiency, courage, and energy to 
secure the independence of the Confederacy, but, with my 
womanly reputation unblemished by even a suspicion of 
impropriety ; and I take this occasion to say, in a very 
positive manner, that women, if they will, may pass through 
the most trying scenes with unblemished reputations, and 
that they have much more to dread in this particular matter 
from the scandalous gossip of city, village, and country 
neighborhoods, than they have from camp associations, with 
all their license of language and conduct. 

family matters. 39 

The Velazquez Family. 

I have every reason to be proud of the name I bear, and 
of the ancestry from Mdiom I inherited it. My lather's 
family is a very ancient one, and tlie blood which flows in my 
veins is that of Castilian nobles, whose deeds are intimately 
connected with some of the most impressive episodes of 
Spanish history. Reckless as some portions of my own 
career may seem to unthinking* persons, I have the satisfac- 
tion of knowing, in my own soul, that by no act of mine has 
the noble name of Velazquez been brought into discredit, 
and that at all times, and under the most discouraging circum- 
stances, I have ever upheld my own honor and that of my 

Both in Spain and in the Spanish dominions on this side 
of the Atlantic, is the name of Velazquez well known and 
higlily honored. Don Diego Velazquez, the conqueror and 
the first governor of Cuba, under whose superintendence the 
expedition which discovered Mexico was sent out, was one 
of my ancestors, and Don Diego Rodriguez Velazquez, the 
greatest artist that Spain ever produced, was a member of 
my family. It will thus be seen that I came of excellent, 
although somewhat fiery and headstrong stock, and, if in 
assuming the garments of a man, and endeavoring to do a 
man's work on the battle-field, I transgressed against the 
conventionalities of modern society, the reader will, I am sure, 
charitably attribute some of the blame to the adventuresome 
blood of old Governor Don Diego, which I inherited, and, 
which fired my brain and steeled my nerves when there was 
a prospect held out that, despite the fact of my being a 
woman, I might be able to enjoy the excitements of the battle- 
field, and win for myself a warrior's fame. 

My father was a native of the city of Carthagena, and he 
received a very thorough education at the universities of 
Madrid and Paris. He was an accomplished Latin, French, 
and German scholar, and spoke all these languages fluently. 
English he paid but little attention to until alter his marriage 
with my mother. Like all the members of his family, he was 
a very strict Catholic. Two of his brothers being in the 
Spanish army, and his tastes inclining him to the life of a 
civilian, a diplomatic appointment was procured for him, and 
he went to Paris as an attache of the Spanish embassy. 

It was while residing in Paris that my father became 


acquainted with the lady whom he married, and made_ the 
mother of his children. My mother was the daughter of a 
French naval officer, by an American lady, the daughter of a 
wealthy merchant. She, of course, spoke English fluently, 
and tried to instruct my father in it. He managed, in time, 
to understand it very well, but he never spoke it without 
some accent. M}^ father's marriage occurred a short time 
before the expiration of his term of office, and after his 
recall to Spain he took up his residence in the city of Madrid, 
where three sons and two daughters were born. 

My Birth. 

In 1840 my father was appointed to an official position in 
Cuba, and two years later I, his sixth and last child, came 
into the world in a house on the Calle Velaggas, near the walls 
in the city of Havana, on the 26th of June, 1842. I was 
christened Loreta Janeta. 

When I was almost one year old, ni}^ father fell heir to a 
large estate in Texas, which was then a part of the republic 
of Mexico. He accordingly resigned his position as an 
employee of the Spanish government in Cuba, and in 1844 
removed with his family to San Luis Potosi, in Central 
Mexico. His property consisted of a very large tract of 
land and immense herds of cattle, and as he was a careful 
and accurate business man, the probabilities are, that in a 
short time he would have become one of the wealthiest 
landed proprietors of that region. Unfortunately we had 
scarcely been settled in our new home a twelvemonth, when 
the war between Mexico and the United States broke out. I 
was too young at the time, of course, to recollect anything 
of this memorable contest, although it had a potent influence 
on my own destiny. 

The Mexican War. 

My father, so soon as war was declared, decided to take 
part in the conflict, and off'ered his services to the Mexican 
government to assist in expelling the invaders. His off"er 
was accepted, and he received a commission as an officer in 
the army. Sending his family to the Island of St. Lucia, one 
of the British West Indian provinces, where my mother's 
only brother resided, he took the field, and fought until the 


end of tlie war against the forces of the United States. 
During the conflict his estates were devastated and liis 
property destroyed, and this, combined with the non-success 
of the Mexican arms, greatly imbittered him against the 
Americans, and this bitterness be retained till the day of 
his death. 

When the war was coded, and a large portion of tlie 
northern part of Mexico ceded to the United States, my 
father, whose estates were included in this territory, refused 
to live under a government which he disliked so intensely, 
and he consequently abandoned his property and went to 
Santiago de Cuba, where he was rejoined by his family. In 
the mean time he had fallen heir to another valuable estate 
at Puerto do Palmas, and settling upon it, he engaged 
actively in the sugar, tobacco, and coffee trade. The profits 
on these articles being very large, he speedily accpiired 
great wealth, and was able to surround his family Avith 
every luxury. 

While we were residing on the Puerto de Palmas plantation, 
an English governess was employed to conduct my education. 
I remained under this good lady's instruction until 1849, 
learning the elementary branches, and acquiring a fair knowl- 
edge of the English language. In that year my father, at my 
mother's urgent solicitation, determined to send me to New 
Orleans for the purpose of completing my education. I 
accordingly took up my abode with Madame R., my mother's 
only surviving sister, who resided in Rue Esplanade, New 
Orleans. My aunt was rather strict with me, but she took 
much pains with my education, and for two years I studied 
under her supervision, mainly devoting myself to acquiring 
an accurate knowledge of English, so as to be able to read, 
write, and speak it with fluency. Having become reasonably 
proficient in such studies as were assigned me by ray aunt, 
I was sent to the school conducted by the Sisters of Charity, 
to learn the ornamental branches. Here I remained until the 
romantic clandestine marriage, which did so much towards 
shaping my future career, took place. 

Dreams of Glory. 

From my earliest recollections my mind has been filled with 
aspirations, of the most ardent possible kind, to fill some great 
sphere. I expended all my pocket money,, not in candies and 


cakes, as most girls are in the liabit of doing, but in the pur- 
chase of books which related the events of the lives of kings, 
princes, and soldiers. The story of the siege of Orleans, in 
particular, I remember, thrilled my yoimg heart, fired my im- 
agination, and sent my blood bounding through my veins with 
excitement. Joan of Arc became my heroine, and I longed for 
an opportunity to become such another as she. I built air-cas- 
tles without number, and in my day-dreams I was fond of 
imagining myself as the hero of most stupendous adventures. 
I wished that I was a man, such a man as Columbus or Captain 
Cook, and could discover new worlds, or explore unknown 
regions of the earth. 1 could not even write a social letter 
to my father to inform him of tlie state of my health, or my 
educational progress, without putting in it some romantic pro- 
ject which I had on hand. This propensity of mine evidently 
annoyed him greatly, for he frequently reprimanded me with 
much severity, although he took no measures to remove me 
from influences which were certainly not unattended with 
danger to a girl of my impulsive and imaginative disposition ; 
so that it is no wonder I was soon engaged in a romantic 
escapade which gave my family great offence and anxiety. 

I was especially haunted with the idea of being a man ; and 
the more I thought upon the subject, the more I was disposed 
to murmur at Providence for having created me a woman. 
While residing with my aunt, it was frequently my habit, after 
all in the house had retired to bed at night, to dress myself 
in my cousin's clothes, and to promenade by the hour before 
the mirror, practising the gait of a man, and admiring the 
figure I made in masculine raiment. I wished that I could 
only change places with my brother Josea. If I could have 
done so I would never have been a doctor, but would have 
marked out for myself a military career, and have disported 
myself in the gay uniform of an officer. 



My Betrothal. — Love Matches and Marriages of Convenience. — Some 
new Ideas picked up from my Schoohnates. — A new Lover appears 
upon the Field. — I Figure as a Rival to a Friend. — Love's Young 
Dream. — A new Way of popping the Question. — A Clandestine 
Marriage. — Displeasure of my Family. — Life as the Wife of an 
Army Officer. — The Mormon Expedition. — Birth of my first Child, 
and Reconciliation with my Family. — Commencement of the War 
between the North and South. — Death of my Children. — Resignation 
of mv Husband from the Army. — My Determination to take Part in the 
coming Conflict as a Soldier. — Opposition of my Husband to my 

OME time previous to my admission to the 
Sisters' school, I was betrothed to a young 
Spaniard, Raphael R., in accordance with plans 
which my relatives had formed with regard 
to me, and without any action on my part. 
Indeed, my consent was not asked, my parents, 
thinking that they were much better qualified to 
arrange a suitable alliance than I was, and that, 
provided other things were satisfectory, love was 
something of" minor importance, that could very well 
be left to take care of itself. They were mistaken, 
however, as other parents have been in similar cases, for, 
like a good many girls, as soon as I was old enough to do 
much thinking for myself, I had no difficulty in coming to 
the conclusion that the choice of a husband was something 
I ought to have a voice' in. 

I had been educated under very old-fashioned ideas with 
regard to the duties which children owe to their parents, 
for, among my father's country people, children, even when 
they have arrived at years of discretion, are supposed to be 
under the authority of their father and mother, and marriages 
for love, having their origin in a spontaneous affection of young 
people for each other, are very rare. It is the custom in Spain, 



and among the Spanish people in America, for the parents to 
make what they consider suitable matches for their children, 
and the young people are expected to accept any arrange- 
ment that may be concluded in their behalf, without mur- 

This does not seem to be the proper way of conducting such 
an important piece of business as marriage, and it is very 
contrary to the notions which are common in the United 
States. A good deal, however, could be said in favor of it, 
and it is certain that quite as large a number of marriages 
of convenience, such as are usual in Europe, turn out happily 
as of the love matches which are usual in the United States. 
The fact is, that the majority of young people really do not 
know their own minds, and they often fancy themselves in 
love when they are not. Marriage undeceives them, and 
then they wish that they had exercised a little more discre- 
tion, and had not been in quite such a hurry. On the other 
hand, in a marriage of convenience, if the parties are at all 
suited to each other, and are at all disposed to make the best 
of the situation, they soon become affectionate, and love after 
marriage is, perhaps, in reality, the most likely to be enduring. 
As a general principle, however, there can be no doubt that 
a couple ought to be fond of each other before marriage, and 
if a young man and young woman of proper age, and with 
the means to start housekeeping, fall in love, and want to get 
married, parents do wrong to oppose them unless there are 
some very serious reasons for so doing. 

A marriage by parental arrangement was the last thing in 
the world to suit a scatter-brained, romantic girl like myself, 
whose head was filled with all sorts of wild notions, and it is 
not to be wondered at, therefore, that I rebelled. When I 
was betrothed to Kaphael, however, I had not the slightest 
notion of objecting ; and although I did not feel a particle of 
affection for him, I accepted him for my future husband, as a 
matter of course, and received his visits with a proper degree 
of complacency, if not with any great demonstrations of 

I had not been long in the school, however, when, from my 
association with American girls, I obtained considerable 
enlightenment on a good many subjects about which I had 
previously been profoundly ignorant ; and concerning this 
matter of marriage, in particular, I learned that it Avas not 
considered the correct thing at all for the parents of a young 


lady to pick out a husband for her. The girls, when tliey 
found that I was betrothed without my own consent, were at 
a great deal of pains to inform me that this was a free 
country, and that one of the chief blessings of living in a 
free country was, that a girl could not be compelled to marry 
any particular man if she did not choose to do so. 

This kind of talk excited me very much, and I began to 
wish to break my engagement with Raphael, even before a 
rival stepped in to secure the afl'ections which belonged to 
him, according to the arrangement ni}' parents had made. I 
did not see my way very clear, however, and probably would 
have married him eventually, had not a more acceptable lover 
put in an ajmearance. Some of the girls professed to know 
a good deal about the law, and insisted that if my parents 
wished to force me to marry against riiy OAvn consent, I could 
defy their authority, and appeal to the courts to allow me to 
choose a guardian. Such a course as this, hoAvever, I knew 
would sever me from my family ; and as I had the fondest 
regard for my dear father and mother, I dreaded to find 
myself cut oft', disinherited, and thrown upon the charity of 
strangers. I consequently took no steps to get rid of 
Rapliael until I chanced to make the acquaintance of a young 
American army officer who was paying particular attention to 
one of my schoolmates, Nellie V. 

A Real Lover. 

Nellie was a beautiful girl, of about sixteen years of age, 
and a very warm regard subsisted between us up to the time 
of her discovery that I was endeavoring to capture her lover. 
Her affection for me did not last long after that, and she said 
a great many disagreeable things about me, for which I have 
long since forgiven her, as I doubt not she has me for run- 
ning away with her handsome young officer. 

He was indeed a handsome young officer, and his manly 
and graceful appearance, especially when attired in his 
brilliant uniform, made such an impression on my heart, that I 
soon could think of nothing else. I found now that love was a 
reality, and my thoughts by day and my dreams by night had 
no other object than the gentleman who, wliile paying his 
assiduous attentions to Nellie, never imagined what ravages 
he was making in the heart of her schoolmate. I learned 
to hate Raphael, and his attempts to make himself agreeable 


to me only served to increase my dislike. Of Nellie I soon 
became savagely jealous, and was ready to cry with rage and 
vexation whenever I saw her lover paying her any delicate 
attentions. We, however, to all appearances, continued fast 
friends, and it was not for several months that she discovered 
I was her rival. The object of my devotion was also pro- 
foundly ignorant of my feelings towards him, and I had not 
the courage to tell him. At length I became desperate, and 
determined at the earliest opportunity to acquaint the young 
officer with the affection I entertained for him. 

A Declaration of Love. 

The wished-for opportunity finally offered. One evening 
Nellie and I agreed to exchange partners, for the purpose of 
finding out how much they loved us. Raphael did not fancy 
this manoeuvre a bit, but submitted to it with as good a grace 
as possible. The officer and myself managed to get out of 
ear-shot of the other couple, but, now that the opportunity I 
had sighed for was mine, 1 was afraid to open my mouth on 
the subject nearest my heart. I trembled all over, but was 
determined before we separated to let him know the state of 
my heart. Finding that I had not courage to speak, I wrote 
a few words in his pocket diary, which told him everything. 

He was intensely surprised ; but he declared, with much 
warmth, that he had long wished to speak with me on this 
very matter, and would have done so, were it not that he 
thought I was betrothed, and that under any circumstances 
there would be no chance for an American to win my affec- 
tions. My new lover behaved in the most honorable manner, 
for, as soon as he obtained my consent for him to pay his 
addresses, he went to my aunt, and asked permission to visit 
at her house. She granted his request, with the condition 
that he was to understand that I was betrothed, and would 
demean himself towards me accordingly. This condition he 
listened to, but with a determination to pay little heed to it, 
his main object being accomplished in securing the right to 
see me without fear of being interfered with. 

When my lover began to appear at my aunt's as a pretty 
constant visitor, Raphael was quick to suspect him as a rival, 
who was more highly appreciated than himself, and became 
furiously jealous. I cannot tell what torture I suffered in 
endeavoring to be amiable to a man whom I hated, in order 


that I might prevent an explosion which woiikl deprive me 
of the society of the one I really loved with the most devoted 
fondness. Finally Raphael, unable to endure the sight of 
his rival constantly in attendance upon me, and evidently 
finding extreme favor in my eyes, prevailed upon my aunt to 
forbid him admittance to the house, on the plea that he was 
becoming altogether too intimate Avith the betrothed of 
another. This gratified Raphael's malignity, and it was a 
severe blow to both of us. Although we could not meet on 
the same pleasantly familiar terms as before, we were resolved 
not to be separated, for we were now too much in love to be 
willing to give each other up. In spite of my aunt's endeav- 
ors to keep VIS apart, and in spite of Raphael's jealous vigi- 
lance, William — for that was my lover's name — found means 
to carry on a correspondence with me, to meet me at the 
houses of mutual friends, and to speak to me on the street on 
my way to and from school. Raphael, who took pains to have 
us closely watched, informed my aunt of Avhat was going 
on, and I was accordingly threatened with being locked up in 
a convent, or with being sent back to Cuba, if I did not 
conduct myself with more propriety. I was horror-stricken 
at the idea of either fate, but as I knew my aunt to be a 
very determined woman, who would certainly carry out her 
threat if I did not take measures to place it out of her 
power to do so, I was not long in making up my mind 
what course to follow, and having fixed upon a plan of action, 
I only awaited a suitable opportunity to put it into execu- 

The opportunity I sighed for was not long in offering itself; 
for one evening, as I was sitting at my window, in company 
with a young French Creole girl, I saw William pass and look 
up. I waved my handkerchief in salutation, and he recog- 
nized the signal by raising his cap. I then asked the young 
lady if she would not do me the favor of taking a letter to 
him, and of permitting us to have an interview at her home. 
She readily consented ; and carrying a hastily written note to 
William, soon returned with an answer, to the effect that he 
would meet me in an hour's time. My aunt did not permit 
me to go out alone in the evening; but as she susjDected 
nothing wrong in the proposed visit to my friend's house, she 
consented, without hesitation, for me to go under the escort 
of one of the servants. As my escort, of course, on our 
arrival at the rendezvous, remained with the servants of the. 


house, I was able to converse with William without fear of 
espial, or of being interrupted. 

A KuNAWAY Match. 

My lover informed me that he expected soon to be ordered 
to one of the frontier posts. He declared tliat lie could not 
exist without me, and proposed that we should elope, and get 
married privately. As this was my own plan exactly, I gave 
my consent, without any hesitation, the moment the proposition 
was made. On a little reflection, however, my conscience 
began to trouble me, for I knew that I should not be doing 
right ; so I told him I would prefer that he should make an 
open and straightforward proposition for my hand to my 
parents. I considered that it was a duty I owed them to ask 
their consent first, but promised, if they opposed the marriage, 
that I would not let their disapprobation interfere with the 
consummation of our wishes. William himself thought that 
this was the proper and honorable course to pursue, and he 
accordingly wrote to my father, and asked his permission to 
marry me. A reply to his request was not long forthcoming, 
in which he was reprimanded in very harsh terms for daring 
to make it, knowing me to be the betrothed of another. This 
settled the matter ; and accordingly, on the 5th of April, 1856, 
we were clandestinely married. 

I told no one of the step I had taken, and remained at my 
aunt's, on the same apparent footing as before, until the 
following October, meeting William privately, Mdien I could 
do so witliout being observed, but taking more pains to 
prevent our interviews from being noted than I had done 
previous to our marriage. At length I had a furious quarrel 
with my aunt on account of Raphael. She reproached me in 
severe terms for my conduct towards him ; and I replied by 
discarding him, and refusing to have anything more to do with 
him. My aunt was extremely indignant; and finding me 
obdurate, threatened to put me in the convent at Baton 
Rouge. I was terribly frightened at this, and concluded that 
it was time for me to act with decision. I accordingly 
informed my husband of the situation, and he came immedi- 
ately and claimed me as his wife, presenting the certificate 
of marriage to my horror-stricken relative. 

This was a terrible blow to my aunt, but a greater one to 
my parents, especially to my father, who idolized me. My 


f\ither's indignation got tlie better of his afTection, and he 
promptly iurormod mc that I might consider myself as repudia- 
ted and disinherited. The pangs this cruel message caused 
me were intense, but I was consoled with the lavish afiection 
bestowed upon me by my handsome young husband, and with 
the thought that, incourse of time, my parents would relent, 
and be willing to again receive me as their daughter. 

With the exception of my estrangement from my family, 
there was but one tiling that interfered with my happiness. 
My husband Avas a Protestant, and desired me to believe as he 
did. It required a hard struggle for me to forsake the fliith 
in which I had been educated ; but eventually I learned to 
think as my husband did about religious matters, and be- 
came a member of the Methodist church. 

My separation from my family caused me much grief, but I 
tried hard not to let my husband see how much I suffered. I 
entered as far as possible into his thoughts and wishes, and 
only gratified a natural taste by giving a large portion of my 
time to the study of military tactics. I longed for a war to 
break out, and resolved that if one did occur, I would follow 
my husband to the battle-field, and minister to him, eveu if I 
was not allowed to fight by his side. 

The Mormon Expedition. 

In 1857 there appeared to be a chance that my martial 
aspiration would be gratified. The government organized an 
expedition against the Mormons, and my husband was ordered 
to accompany it. In the mean time, however, I had become a 
mother ; and much as I desired to accompany the army to 
Utah, I was forced to acknowledge the impracticability of a 
journey across the plains with an infant in my arms, and was 
compelled to submit to remaining behind. 

When my baby came into the world I yearned more than 
ever to be reconciled with my family, and, with my husband's 
consent, wrote to my mother and to my favorite brotiiei", who, 
but a few months before, liad graduated with distinction from 
the College de France. This brother had long since forgiven 
me, and, in confederation with my mother, had labored to 
soften the heart of my flither towards me. On the receipt 
of the letter announcing the birth of my child, and my earnest 
desire to be forgiven for my fault, they worked so successfully 
on the feelings of my father, that, after a somewhat stubborn 


resistance, he yielded, and consented to have my mother and 
brother visit me in St. Louis. My brother, after becoming 
acquainted with my husband, esteemed him highly, and finally 
the bad feeling which had been caused by my clandestine 
marriage wore away, my father alone treating me with a 
coolness which he had never previously shown. When I met 
him for the first time after my marriage, he turned his cheek 
to me, saying, " You can never impress a kiss on my lips after 
a union with my country's enemy," — from which I concluded 
that it was not so much my marriage without his consent, as 
my alliance with an American soldier that imbittered him. 

After the Mormon expedition had returned, my husband 
met me at New Orleans, and from thence took me to Fort 
Leavenworth, then a remote frontier town. The living 
accommodations at this place were miserable, and the cooking, 
especially, was atrociously bad. I bore every discomfort, 
however, without a murmur, out of deference to my husband's 
feelings, and in every way endeavored to make myself as 
little of a burden to him as possible. In course of time I 
became a good American in thought and manner, and despite 
the inconveniences of life at a frontier post, was as happy as 
I could wish to be. 

In the spring of 1860 I returned to St. Louis, while my 
husband went to Fort Arbuckle. During his separation from 
me, our third babe was born and died. In October of the 
same year he returned, having received a summons from his 
father — a resident of Texas — to the effect that there was 
reason to believe a war was about to break out between the 
North and the South, and desiring him to resign. 

About this time my two remaining children died of fever, 
and my grief at their loss probably had a great influence in 
reviving my old notions about military glory, and of excit- 
ing anew my desires to win fame on the laattle-field. I 
was dreadfully afraid that there would be no war, and my 
spirits rose and sank as the prospects of a conflict brightened 
or faded. When my husband's State determined to secede, I 
brought all my influence to bear to induce him to resign his 
commission in the United States army, and my persuasions, 
added to those of his father, finally induced him, very 
reluctantly, to yield. It was a great grief for him to forsake 
the uniform he had worn so long with honor, and to sever the 
bonds which existed between him and his comrades. He 
much doubted, too, the wisdom of the Southern States in 


taking the action they did, and wished most sincerely tliat 
the political difKculties which caused their secession could be 
settled in some other manner than by an armed conflict. 

As for me, 1 was perfectly wild on the subject of war ; and 
although I did not toll my husband so, I was resolved to 
forsake him if he raised his sword against the South. I felt 
that now the great opportunity of my life had arrived, and 
my mind was busy night and day in planning schemes for 
making my name famous above that of any of the great 
heroines of history, not even excepting my favorite, Joan of 
Arc. Having decided to enter the Confederate service as a 
soldier, I desired, if possible, to obtain my husband's consent, 
but he would not listen to anything I had to say on the 
subject ; and all I could do was to wait his departure for the 
seat of war, in order to put my plans into execution with- 
out his knowledge, as I felt that it would be useless to 
argue with him, although I was obstinately bent upon realizing 
the dream of my life, whether he approved of my course 
or not. 



A Wedding Anniversary. — Preparing for my Husband's Departure for 
the Seat of War. — My Desire to accompany him. — His Arguments 
to dissuade me. — My First Appearance in Public in Male Attire. — A 
Bar-room Scene. — Drinking Success to the Confederacy. — My First 
Cigar. — A Tour of the Gambh'ng-Houses and Drinking-Saloons. — The 
unpleasant Points of Camp Life set forth in strong Colors. — Depar- 
ture of my Husband. — Donning Male Attire. — My First Suit of Male 
Clothing. — Description of my Disguise. — The Practicability of a Wo- 
man disguising herself effectively. — Some of the Features of Army 
Life. — What Men think of Women Soldiers. 

HE fifth anniversary of our wedding 
was celebrated in a very quiet fash- 
ion at the old Commercial Hotel, 
Memphis, Tennessee. We passed 
the day pretty much in our own 
room, packing trunks and preparing 
for my husband's departure for 
Richmond, where he expected to 
meet some of his old army friends, 
-iich as General Robert E. Lee, 
■neral Reynolds, Captain Bernard 
■e, and Captain Cabell, who had 
. iiked their fortunes with those of 
the South. His hardest 


been to throAv off the uniform 
he had so long worn ; but, that deed having once been con- 
summated, it was not difficult for me to persuade him to offer 
his sword to the South, especially when so many of his old 
friends of the United States arm}' Avere arraying themselves in 
antagonism to the flag under which they had once fought. 

While preparing for his departure, on the anniversary of 
our wedding, we talked over the whole situation ; and I can- 
not tell how proud and delighted I felt when he attired him- 
self in his elegant new gray uniform. He never looked hand- 


somcr in his life, and I not only gave full vent to my admira- 
tion, but insisted upon broaching my lavorite scheme again. 
My husband desired me to go to Galveston, and to write 
to my father to meet me there ; but my heart was set 
upon accompanying him to the seat of war, and I Avould listen 
to no other arrangement. He used every possible argument 
to dissuade me from my purpose, representing tlie difficulties 
and dangers in the darkest colors, and contending that it 
would be impossible for Iiim to permit his wife to follow an 
undisciplined army of volunteers. The situation, he told me, 
was entirely different from anything I had ever been accus- 
tomed to, and that the hordes of rude, coarse men collected 
together in a camp in an emergency like this, would have but 
little resemblance to the regular troops in garrison with whom 
I had been familiar ; and that a delicately nurtured and re- 
fined woman would find camp life, during such a war as that 
just connnencing, simply intolerable. He was not to be per- 
suaded, while I turned a deaf ear to all his remonstrances, 
and persisted in arguing the point with him to the last. 

First Assumption of Male Attire. 

Finally, my husband, finding that his words made no im- 
pression, thought he would be able to cure me of my erratic 
fancies by giving me an insight into some of the least pleasing 
features of masculine life. The night before his departure, 
therefore, he permitted me to dress myself in one of his suits, 
and said he would take me to the bar-rooms and other places 
of male resort, and show me something of Avhat I would be 
compelled to go through with if I persisted in unsexing my- 
self. Braiding my liair very close, I put on a man's wig,, and'! 
a false mustache, and by tucking my pantaloons in my boots,, 
as I had seen men do frequently, and otherwise arranging the 
garments, which were somewhat large for me, I managed to 
transform myself into a very presentable man. As I surveyed 
myself in the mirror I was immensely pleased wnth the figure- 
I cut, and fancied that I made quite as good looking a man as 
my husband. My toilet once completed, it was not long be- 
fore we were in the street, I doing my best to walk with a 
masculine gait, and to behave as if I had been accustomed to 
wear pantaloons all my life. I confess, that when it actually 
came to the point of appearing in public in this sort of attire, 
my heart began to fail me a little ; but I was bent on going 


through Avith the thing, and so, plucking up courage, I strode 
along by the side of my husband with as unconcerned an air 
as it was possible for me to put on. 

Presently we crossed over to a bar-room, which we found 
nearly filled with men smoking and drinking, and doing some 
pretty tall talking about the Avar, and the style in which the 
Yankees were going to be Aviped out. To judge by the con- 
versation, every man present Avas full of fight, and Avas burn- 
ing Avith a furious desire to meet the enemy. I Avas too 
frightened and bewildered by the novelty of my situtation to 
pay very close attention to all I saw and heard, but it flashed 
upon me that some of these loud-talking, hard-drinking, and 
blaspheming patriots were not so A-aliant, after all, as they 
professed to be. My after experiences fully confirmed my 
first impressions, that the biggest talkers are not alAA^ays the 
best fighters, and that a good many men Avill say things over 
a glass of whiskey in a bar-room, Avho won't do a tenth part 
of .what they say if they are once placed AA'ithin smelling dis- 
tance of gunpoAvder. 

I had scarcely time to take a good look at the room and its 
occupants, when my husband caught sight of a couple of men 
who had belonged to his regiment, and who Avere very partic- 
ular friends of mine. I Avas dreadfully afraid they Avould 
recognize me, but there Avas no escaping from them, as they 
came up so soon as they saw us, and I Avas introduced as a 
young felloAv who was on a visit to Memphis to see the sights 
and to pick up war neAvs. 


My husband treated, he and his two comrades taking some- 
thing strong, Avhile I, in accordance Avith the instructions 
given me before starting out, called for a glass of cider, only 
a part of Avhich I imbibed. After a little conversation, my 
husband Avhispered to me to call for the next treat. I was 
getting to be someAvhat disgusted Avith the Avhole business, 
but Avas bound not to break down ; so, stepping up to the bar, 
I iuA'ited the party, Avith as masculine a manner as I could put 
on, to drink Avith me. This time I took a glass of sarsaparilla, 
and Avhen all had their drinks poured out, raising my tumbler, 
I cried out, " Gentlemen, here's to the success of our young 

As I said this, my heart was almost ready to jump out of 


my tliroat. The men, however, p^ave a rousing cheer, and 
one of them yelled out, " We drink that toast every time, 
young fellow.'' 

He then put his hand into his pocket, as if about to get his 
money to pay for the drinks, but I prevented him, saying, 
'' Excuse me, sir, this is my treat," and laid a twenty dollar 
gold piece on the counter. Each of us then took a cigar, I 
watching to see how they managed theirs before daring to 
put mine in ray mouth. After I had gotten a light, I was not 
able to take more than three or four whiffs, for my head began 
to swim, and I knew if I kept on I should soon be deathly 
sick. As it was, I did not feel at all comfortable, but 
thought I could bear up, and said nothing for fear of being 
lauglied at. 

1 was very glad to get out of the bar-room, and into the 
fresh air again ; so, bidding our friends good night, we started 
off, I throwing my cigar away at the first opportunity I had 
of doing so without being observed. Eager to hear my hus- 
band's opinion, I asked him if he did not think I played my 
part pretty well. He replied, " 0, yes ; " but I could see that 
he was very much dissatisfied with the whole performance. 
Before returning to the hotel we made a general tour of the 
city, visiting all the principal gambling-houses and saloons, 
my husband evidently hoping I should be so shocked with 
what I saw and heard that I should be ready to give up my 
wild scheme without farther talk about it. 

When we were once more in our room he locked the door, 
and, throwing himself on the lounge, said, " Well, don't you 
feel pretty much disgusted ? " 

To please him I said, " Yes ; " adding, however, " but then I. 
can stand anything to be with you, and to serve the sunny 

" Now, Loreta," said he, " I have done this to-night for the 
purpose of showing you wliat men are like, and how they be- 
have themselves when they are out of the sight and hearing 
of decent women, whom they are forced to respect. What 
you have seen and heard, however, is nothing to what you 
will be compelled to see and hear in camp, wliere men are 
entirely deprived of female society, and are under the most 
demoralizing influences. The language that will constantly 
greet your ears, and the sights that will meet your eye in 
camp, where thousands of men are congregated, are simply 
indescribable ; and it is out of all reason that you should even 


think of associating in the manner you propose with soldiers 
engaged in warfare." 

This, with a good deal of the same kind of talk, convinced 
me that he would never give his consent to my project ; so I 
pretended to be satisfied with his arguments, but was, never- 
theless, resolved more firmly than ever, so soon as he took 
his departure, to put my plans into execution. I waited im- 
patiently for him to leave, intending to give him a genuine 
surprise when next we met, and to show him that his wife 
was as good a soldier as he, and was bent upon doing as much 
or more for the cause which both had at heart. For the pres- 
ent, however, I said nothing concerning my intentions. 

My Husband's Departure. 

On the 8th of April my husband started for Richmond, ap- 
parently under the impression that, as I had said nothing for 
several days about accompanying him, I had abandoned all 
notion of doing so. He ought to have known me better, and 
to have been assured that a woman of my obstinate temper 
was not to be prevented by mere argument from carrying out 
a pet scheme which promised such glorious results as the one 
we had been discussing. 

My husband's farewell kisses were scarcely dry upon my 
lips, when I made haste to attire myself in one of his suits, and 
to otherwise disguise myself as a man, as well as was practi- 
cable with such material as I had at hand. The first thing to 
be done before I made any attempt to play a masculine role 
at all prominently in public was, of course, to get some 
properly fitting clothing. Exactly how to accomplish this 
without being discovered, or at least suspected, was the great 
problem now before me. Everything depended, I well knew, 
upon starting right ; and the slightest suspicion at this time, 
in the mind of any one who happened to see or speak to me, 
might, and probably would, interfere materially with the suc- 
cess of my operations in the future. I had, however, some 
time before taken notice of a small tailor's shop on a retired 
street not very far from the hotel, the presiding genius of 
which was a not very brilliant-looking German, and I thought 
perhaps I might run the gantlet of his scrutiny without 
much fear of detection, especially as I proposed to leave 
Memphis at as early a day as possible after obtaining my male 


I accordingl}' went to this German tailor, and ordered two 
uniform suits, for which I agreed to pay him eighty-five dollars 
each. As he took my measure he eyed me pretty close, and 
seemed to imagine that something was not quite right. I was 
dreadfully afraid he would discover me to be a woman, but 
resolved, if he did, that I would endeavor to silence him with 
a handsome bribe for a few days, until he got my suits done 
and I could leave the city, trusting to be able to disguise my- 
self thereafter so effectually that he would not recognize me 
again, even if he saw me. 

" Ah," said the tailor, looking at me rather sharply, " what 
you want to go to war for ? You is too young for the fightin' ; 
isn't you? What your mammy say to that, eh ? " 

I replied, with as careless an air as I could possibly assume, 
that I was twenty-two years of age, and ^^^s a graduate of 
West Point, following up this information with other fictitious 
statements which it somewhat staggered me to utter, and 
which, if he had been a trifle sharper, he would have had some 
difliculty in crediting. 

He, however, was satisfied, or appeared to be, and promised 
to have the clothing ready in two days. I was afraid to tell 
him to pad the coat all around in such a manner as to conceal 
my feminine shape ; this I was compelled to do myself after I 
got possession of the clothing. With a little alteration, how- 
ever, the coats and pantaloons made by the German tailor at 
Memphis answered my immediate purpose, and enabled me to 
get under way with my grand scheme, but my disguise was 
really not perfected until I reached New Orleans, and was able 
to command facilities greater than Memphis afforded. 

My Disguise. 

As this seems to be a very proper point in my narrative for 
a description of the means adopted for the concealment of my 
sex, while I was doing duty in the Confederate army as an 
ofiicer, I will gratify the curiosity of the reader in that matter 
before proceeding any farther with the story of my adven- 

My coats were heavily padded in the back and under the 
arms to the hips, until I reached New Orleans. This served 
to disguise my shape ; but the padding was very uncomforta- 
ble, and I soon made up my mind that it would never do for a 
permanent arrangement. So soon as I got to New Orleans, I 


went to an old French array tailor in Barrack Street, Avho I 
knew was very skilful, and who understood how to mind his 
own business by not bothering himself too much about other 
people's affairs, and had him make for me half a dozen fine 
wire net shields. These I wore next to my skin, and they 
proved very satisfactory in concealing my true form, and in 
giving me something of the shape of a man, while they Avere 
by no means uncomfortable. Over the shields I wore an under- 
shirt of silk or lisle thread, which fitted close, and which was 
held in place by straps across the chest and shoulders, similar to 
the shoulder-braces sometimes worn by men. A great many 
officers in the Confederate army have seen the impressions of 
these straps through my shirt when I have had my coat off, 
and have supposed them to be shoulder-braces. These under- 
shirts could be rolled up into the small compass of a collar- 
box. Around the waist of each of the undershirts was a 
band, with eyelet-holes arranged for the purpose of making 
the waistbands of my pantaloons stand out to the proper num- 
ber of inches. A woman's Avaist, as a general things is ta- 
pering, and her hips very large in comparison with those of a 
man, so that if I had undertaken to wear pantaloons without 
some such contrivance, they would have drawn in at the waist 
and revealed my true form. With such underwear as I used, 
any woman who can disguise her features can readily pass for 
a man, and deceive the closest observers. So many men have 
weak and feminine voices that, provided the clothing is prop- 
erly constructed and put on right, and the disguise in other 
respects is well arranged, a woman with even a very high- 
pitched voice need have very little to fear on that score. One 
of the princpal causes of my detection, after having success- 
fully passed myself off as a man to thousands of keen-eyed 
observers, under circumstances where everything was against 
the concealment of my sex, was, that my apparatus got out of 
order, so that I was forced to dispense with it. I was to blame, 
too, fur permitting myself to grow careless, and not always 
being on my guard. 

There were several points about my disguise which were 
strictly my own invention, and which, for certain good and 
sufficient reasons, I do not care to give to the public. These 
added greatly to its efficiency. Indeed, after I had once be- 
come accustomed to male attire, and to appearing before any- 
body and everybody in it, I lost all fear of being found out, 
and learned to act, talk, and almost to think as a man. Many 


a time, when in camp, I have gone to sleep when from fifty to 
sixty officers have been lying close together wrapped in their 
blankets, and have had no more fear of detection than I had 
of drinking a glass of water. 

Camp Life. 

The style of conversation that was common in camp, and the 
kind of stories told around our fires at night, I will leave to 
the reader's imagination, hoping, however, that he or she has 
not imagination enough to compass anything so utterly vile. 
My favorite amusement was a game of cards, and I preferred 
this way of entertaining myself, and of beguiling the weary 
hours, to listening to anecdotes which could only debase my 
mind. Anything relating to military affairs, to social science, 
to the deeds of great men or women, or whatever else I could 
improve myself by listening to, I took great delight in. From 
my earliest recollection, however, I have had a thorough dis- 
taste for vulgarity of language and profanity, and my camp 
experiences only tended to increase my disgust at the black- 
guardism which many men are so fond of indulging in. The 
manner in which too many men are in the habit of referring 
to the other sex in conversation among themselves is, in my 
opinion, thoroughly despicable ; and I really think that it 
would be morally and intellectually beneficial to many of my 
sex, especially those who are the victims of masculine vicious- 
ness, if they could only listen to some such conversations as I 
have been compelled to Hsten to, and learn how little respect 
or real regard of any kind men have for them. 

I would that God would put it into my power to utter such 
a warning as would be heeded, to the weak and erring of my 
sex, and which would enable them to fortify themselves against 
the temptations constantly assailing them. But I suppose no 
warning would prevent those who are disposed to sin from 
doing so, although I well know that women, and men too, can 
resist temptation, and can avoid vileness in living and in lan- 
guage if they will only choose to do so. I do not pretend to 
say that I am possessed of firmer nerves, or am less under the 
intiuence of the natural emotions of my sex, than many others ; 
but my strong constitution, and the perfect health I enjoyed, 
enabled me to endure more fatigue and hardship than most 
women, while my lirm-mindedness, and resolute determination 
to carry my point, enabled me to avoid anything like laxity 


of conduct. I was compelled to sink my sex entirely, for the 
least inadvertence would have thwarted my plans, and pre- 
vented the realization of all I aimed at. 

Many and many a time has the subject of women serving in 
the army as soldiers been discussed at the mess-tables and 
around the camp-fires ; and officers, who have been in my 
company for days, and weeks, and months, have boasted, with 
very masculine positiveness, that no woman could deceive 
them, little suspecting that one was even then listening to 
them. I have sometimes been asked my opinion on the sub- 
ject ; but have generally answered evasively, without express- 
ing, in very decided terms, my ideas one way or the other. 
Some of the men with whom I have been associated have 
spoken in respectful and even commendatory terms concerning 
women serving as soldiers ; but too many have had nothing 
but vileness to utter on the subject. I can never forget, al- 
though I may forgive, the disgraceful language which some 
of these individuals have used with regard to this matter ; 
and my experiences in the army will not have been in vain, 
even if they have taught me nothing more than the utter con- 
temptibleness of some individuals, whom it would be a stretch 
of courtesy to call gentlemen. 



Preparing a military Outfit. — Consultations with a Friend. — Argument 
against my proposed Plan of Action. — Assuming the Uniform of a 
Confederate Officer. — A Scene in a Barber's Sliop. — How young Men 
try to make their Beards grow. — Taking a social Drink. — A Game 
ot Billiards. — In a Faro Bank. — Some War Talk. — Drinks all 
around. — The End of an exciting Day. — Making up a Complexion. — 
A false Mustache. — Final Preparations. — Letters from Husband and 
Father. — Ready to start for the Seat of War. 

ITHIN three clays I managed to 
provide myself with a very complete 
military outfit ; quite sufficient to 
enable me to commence operations 
without delay, which was the main 
thing I was after, for I was exceed- 
ingly anxious to carry out a magnifi- 
cent idea I had in my mind, and to 
present myself before my husband, 
under such auspices that he could 
no longer find an excuse for refusing 
his consent to my joining the South- 
ern army as a soldier. Isly uniform 
suit having been arranged for, it 
was an easy matter for me to procure the rest of my outfit 
without unduly attracting attention, and I soon had in my 
room a trunk well packed with the wearing apparel of an 
army ofiicer, and neatly marked upon the outside with the 
name I had concluded to adopt. 

Lieutenant H. T. Buford, C. S. A. 

"When I saw the trunk with this name upon it as large as 
life, my heart fairly jumped for joy, and I felt as if the dream 
of my life were already more than half realized. There was 
a good deal, however, to be done before I could move any 



farther in this momentous affair, and while waiting for tlie 
tailor to send my uniform suit, I thought and planned until 
my head fairly ached. At length I hit upon a method of 
arranging my financial matters which I judged would prove 
satisfactory, and concluded to call in a gentleman who was a 
very old and intimate friend of both my husband and myself, 
and demand his assistance. 

A Friend in Need. 

This friend, in whom I knew full reliance could be placed, 
came to my room immediately upon my summons, and having 
first sworn him to secrecy, I made a full revelation with regard 
to what I proposed to do. He turned deadly pale when I 
informed him of my intention to disguise myself as a man, and 
to enter the army on exactly the same footing as other 
combatants ; but, having recovered from his first astonishment 
and dismay, he tried to treat the whole matter as a jest, and 
evidently believed that I was either a little demented, or was 
indulging in an absurd bit of pleasantry. He was convinced, 
however, that I really meant business, when he saw the trunk 
with my military pseudonyme upon it, the male garments which 
the tailor had just sent home, and the accoutrements I had 
purchased within the past two or three days. 

As I had anticipated, he thought it his duty to endeavor to 
persuade me to abandon my wild ideas, as he called them. 
He went over all the arguments my husband had used, adding 
a great many of his own, and painted military associations in 
the blackest and most repulsive colors. He might as well 
have talked to the wind, for my heart was fixed on achieving 
fame, and of accomplishing even more than the great heroines 
of history had been able to do. I turned a deaf ear to all 
his remonstrances, and the only answer 1 gave to his pleadings 
that I would abandon the thought of unsexing myself, was to 
insist upon his aid. This he finally promised to give, although 
most reluctantly, when he found that nothing he could say 
would move me from my purpose. 

My friend suggested that the first thing to be done was, 
for me to leave the hotel ; so, sending for a man, he had my 
trunk and military equipments carried to the house in which 
he occupied apartments. My other baggage was prepared 
for removal, and was taken away to be stored in a place of 
safety until I should need it again, which I hoped would not 


be very soon. After paying my bill, and giving the proprietor 
to understand that I was about to leave the city, my friend 
managed to get me into my new quarters without my being 
observed by any one. Telling me that ho would take care 
to prevent any interruption while 1 was making my toilet, he 
retired and left me to myself 

I immediately proceeded to change my garments, and ere 
a great many minutes had elapsed, 1 was transformed into a 
man, so lar as it was possible for clothing to transform me. 
When 1 was ready I called my friend, and asked his opinion 
of the figure I cut. He admitted that I was not a bad 
looking specimen of a man, considering I had only been 
about five minutes, and thought that in time I should be 
able to do credit to the name I bore and the clothes I wore. 

The only regret I had in making up my disguise, was the 
necessity for parting with my long and luxuriant hair. This 
gave me a real pang ; but there was no help for it, and I 
submitted with as good a grace as I could muster, while my 
friend played the part of tonsorial artist with a pair of shears. 
He trimmed my hair tolerably close, and said that it would 
answer until 1 could visit a barber's shop with him, and be 
initiated into some of the mysteries of such a peculiarly 
masculine place of resort. Before going to the barber's, 
however, he made me promenade the room, practising a 
masculine gait, until I had acquired it tolerably well, and 
gave me a great number of very minute instructions about 
the proper manner of conducting myself so that my sex 
would not be suspected. He particularly enjoined me to 
watch his actions closely at the barber's, in the drinking 
saloons, the billiard rooms, and the other places he intended 
conducting me to, for the purpose of informing me with 
regard to some masculine habits and ways of acting, talking, 
and thinking. 

At the Barber's. 

A carriage having been sent for, we were driven to the 
shop of an old Virginian negro barber, whom my friend was 
accustomed to patronize. Entering first, he took off his 
hat and coat, and hung them up, and throwing himself into 
one of the barber's chairs, asked to have his hair trimmed and 
his face shaved. I followed his movements as closely as I 
was able, and was soon in my shirt sleeves and in possession 
of another chair, with an obsequious colored individual stand- 


ing over me, vigorously mixing lather in a cup, which he 
evidently intended to apply to my face, notwithstanding that 
I had not the least sign of a beard. I was very much amused, 
but also a trifle frightened at this manoeuvre, for I reall}^ did 
not want to have my face scraped with a razor, and yet 
scarcely knew whether it would be the correct thing to decline 
going through the performance. My friend saw the dilemma 
I was in, and came to the rescue, by informing the barber that 
his young friend only wanted to have his hair trimmed in the 
latest style. The negro took the hint, but grinned a little as 
he put away the shaving apparatus, at which I was almost 
inclined to believe that he had suspicions with regard to me. 

I was somewhat reassured, however, and at the same time 
gained a bit of information with regard to certain masculine 
traits, when, as he commenced to trim my hair, he said, 
" De young gemmen in de military always likes to be shaved, 
sah, even if dey hasn't any beard. Dey tinks dat it helps to 
make de beard grow, sah ; " and then he laughed heartily, as 
if he thought he was getting off a first-rate joke at the 
expense of a large and important class of his customers. 
For my own part I appreciated the joke immensely, in spite 
of the embarrassment under which I labored, and assured my 
colored friend that I had no disposition to force my beard, 
but thought that it would come of itself in course of time 
without assistance. The barber took this view of the case 
himself, and intimated confidentially that in his opinion a good 
many young fellows in their haste to get beards before nature 
intended that they should have any, not only give themselves 
considerable unnecessary pain by hacking their chins with 
awkwardly handled razors, but interfered materially with the 
proper and graceful growth of the hirsute adornment when it 
did begin to make its appearance. 

I was entertained, and not a little edified, by the talk with 
which the barber regaled me while he was cutting my hair ; 
and, as it was evident from his manner that he took me for a 
young man, I was greatly reassured with regard to the 
success of my disguise, and left the shop with an increased 
confidence in my abilit}^ to play the part I had assumed. I 
was the more encouraged as my friend, when we were once 
more in the street, told me that I had conducted myself first 
rate, although he warned me that he was about to take me to 
a number of places with which I would not be so well pleased 
as I had been with the barber's shop, and in which I would be 


compelled to be constantly on my guard. He advised me to 
watch closely what he did, to treat to drinks or cigars after 
him, but not to take part in any games. 

Strolling down the street, wo soon came to the hotel, and 
entered the bar-room, where my companion met a number of 
friends, to whom he introduced me as a young officer on his 
way to the seat of war. I was received with much cordiality, 
and the whole party speedily engaged in an animated con- 
versation about the coming conflict. I said as little as possi- 
ble, but tried to take part in the discussion, when I was 
compelled to speak, in as easy and natural a manner as I 
could without unduly obtruding myself. Of course, as soon 
as the first introductions were over, somebody suggested 
drinks. The men all took whiskey straight ; but I did not 
venture on anything stronger than cider. Soon my companion 
managed to give me a quiet hint, and I treated the party to 
drinks and cigars. We then adjourned to the billiard-room, 
and my friend, taking off his coat, went at a game in good 
earnest with another member of the party. I had never 
seen the game of billiards played before, and I soon became 
intensely interested in watching, from a chair in which I sat 
in my shirt sleeves, pretending to smoke my cigar, the balls 
rolling over the table. As the weather was warm, I very soon, 
after entering the billiard-room, availed myself of what seemed 
to be the custom of the place, to take off my heavily padded 
coat, which began to be unbearable, and found myself much 
more at my ease sitting in my shirt sleeves. 

A Visit to a Faro Bank. 

The players kept pushing the balls about, until nearly one 
o'clock in the morning, I sitting all the time watching them 
intently, and endeavoring to obtain some idea of the game. 
When one o'clock struck, my friend proposed that we should 
go to a faro bank ; and although I was both sleepy and tired, 
for it was long after my usual hour for retiring, and I 
was pretty well used up with the excitement of the day, I 
felt bound to do whatever my instructor in masculine manners 
desired me. I knew what the game of faro was, for my 
father's country people are all extravagantly fond of sports 
of every kind, while in the army, especially upon lonely 
frontier stations, a game of cards is frequently the only 
diversion that officers have. Both before and after my 

I Gettysburg, Pa. | 


marriage, therefore, I had been accustomed to card-playing, 
and was familiar with all the principal games, although there 
were some, like faro, used only for gambling purposes, which I 
had never seen played in a regular manner. 

Before entering the faro bank, my companion cautioned me 
not, under any circumstances, at the present or any future 
time, to take part in games like faro, or to drink any strong 
liquor. Card-playing for money, he said, I could avoid with 
tolerable ease, but I would frequently be so situated that I 
would be compelled to drink, and that I had better at once 
establish a reputation for temperance, and only take something 
that could not possibly intoxicate. If it was once understood 
that I never touched whiskey, brandy, or even wine, I could 
manage to get along very well, even with hard drinkers, and 
would very seldom be troubled by being forced to imbibe 
when I did not wish to do so, while all sensible people would 
respect me. My friend liked very well to take something 
stronger than water himself, but he felt that what would do 
for him would not do for me, and that even a very slight 
indiscretion with regard to such a matter as this might get 
me into serious trouble and thwart all my plans. His present 
object was simply to show me some points of masculine life, 
which it was important I should be acquainted with in order 
that I might play my part with entire success ; for, having 
failed to dissuade me from my grand scheme, he was 
exceedingly solicitous that I should acquit myself with 
credit, and get through without tarnishing my fair fame. 

The faro bank was crowded with men, some deeply interest- 
ed in the play, others looking on, and others standing about 
talking and drinking. The majority of the men in the room 
were civilians ; but not a few officers, in their brilliant uniforms, 
were present, and the war seemed to be the one topic of con- 
versation. My friend immediately recognized a number of 
acquaintances, to whom he introduced me. Among others 
was a major, who, I thought, eyed me pretty close, but who did 
not address me particularly, except to exchange the ordinary 
civilities. This officer, after we had been conversing a few 
moments, proposed that we should take a drink, and the 
whole party went up to the bar. All but myself called for 
brandy ; I took cider. Whereupon the major said, with 
a smile, " Lieutenant, you don't appear to be a heavy 
drinker? " 

" No," replied my friend for me, " he is quite temperate ; 


and it's just f\s good for him. If he don't begin to drink 
Rtnnig stuff, lie'll never M^ant to." 

" That's so," said the major ; " liard drinking is a bad habit, 
and I wish sometimes I hadn't acquired it ; but when a 
feUow 's in camp, and cut off from civihzation, he is apt to take 
more than is good for him ; and when he once gets a start in 
that way, it is hard to stop." Then turning to me, he said, 
" What part of the country do you come from ? " 

" He has just returned from the North," put in my friend. 

" Ah, indeed ! " said the major. "To what command are 
you attached, sir ? " 

" To none, as yet," I replied. 

Said my friend, " He is a West-Pointer, and has made up 
his mind to do some fighting for the South." 

" The devil he is ! " remarked the major, shaking me heartily 
by the liand ; " I am glad to find him on the right side. This 
is the kind of fellow we want, and, with a few more of 
the same sort, we will whip the Yankees inside of ninety 

Some War Talk. 

In a few moments a dozen or more men were gathered 
around, eagerly shaking my hand and plying me with all 
kinds of questions. They made such a decided demonstra- 
tion, that I began to be a little frightened, but stood my 
ground valiantly, and 2*eplied to their queries the best I was 

Said one, ** W^hat do the Yankees think of us people dowTi 
South ? " 

" Why," replied I, *' most persons say that there will be nO' 
fighting, and I do not think they want to fight if they can. 
help it." 

" We'll show them about the fighting," said another. 

"Yes, lieutenant," said a third, " one Southerner can- whip 
an}' ten they send doAvn here, and will do it in thirty days at 
the farthest"." 

The major now asked, " What do you think about foreign 
intervention ? " 

This was something I had never given even a thought to ; 
but I ansAvered very boldly, and in a style that I thought 
would be appreciated by my auditors, " We don.'t want any 


foreign help in a war like this. I reckon we can manage to 
do our own fighting." 

" That's the kind of talk," cried the major. 

There was considerable more conversation of this kind, 
during Avhich the drinking went on pretty freely, I treating 
the same as the rest, but being careful not to take anything 
that would upset me. I informed them that it was my inten- 
tion to recruit and equip a company at my OAvn expense in 
Eackensack, on the Mississippi, among the country people, 
and that I had eighty-eight thousand dollars with which to 
see myself through. This made a great impression, and the 
major remarked, " You are going to just the right place. The 
boys down there are first-rate marksmen, and you won't have 
any trouble in getting as many of them as you want." 

The major by this time was pretty full, and he proposed to 
show me the sights, if I would make a night of it with him. 
I thanked him, but said that as it was very late, and I was 
tired from travelling, I would like to retire. My friend 
seconded my efforts to get away ; which we did finally, after 
some further argument with my new acquaintances, the major 
especially showing a disposition to insist upon my going with 
him to see what he called the sights. Finally we reached the 
house, where my friend put me into his room, while he went 
and took possession of another apartment occupied by a friend. 
It Avas after four o'clock when I went to sleep, pretty Avell 
used up with the excitement and unusual exertion which my 
masculine debut had caused me. 

The next day I completed my outfit by purchasing a pair 
of field-glasses, a pair of blankets, a rubber overcoat, and a 
rubber blanket. On returning to my room I made out a 
form of attorney in my friend's name, and authorized him to 
attend to all my business matters for me. I also prepared a 
lot of recruiting papers on the model of some genuine ones 
I succeeded in getting hold of, and some muster rolls, and 
procured a manual of tactics, and before the day was over, 
was pretty nearly ready to commence active operations. 

My friend, thinking that my disguise could be somewhat 
improved, and a more manly air given to my countenance, 
obtained a false mustache, and a solution with which to stain 
my face, in order to make it look tanned. I rubbed on the 
solution until my skin was about the right tint, and then my- 
friend carefully fastened the mustache on my upper lip with 
glue. This was a very great improvement, and I scarcely 


knew myself when I looked in the glass, and laughed at the 
thought of what my husband would say when he saw me in 
this disguise. 

During the day I received two letters ; one from my father, 
informing me that he was about to return to Cuba, which 
relieved my anxiety lest he should come after me, and the 
other dated Vicksburg, from my husband. In my reply to 
the latter, I stated that I was going to Texas, for the purpose 
of accompanying my father to Cuba. This I tliouglit would 
prevent my husband from being apprehensive with regard to 
me, and enable me to get matters under good lieadway before 
he could interfere, for I was extremely anxious to give him a 
first-rate surprise. 

Everything was now in proper trim for me to commence 
operations in earnest; so, packing my trunk, rolling up my 
blankets in army style, as I had often seen soldiers do, 
preparing my papers, and getting ready a change of under- 
wear, and other matters for immediate use in a small satchel, 
I was ready to start on my campaign with as stout a heart as 
ever beat in the breast of a soldier. 



My Plan of Action. — On the War Path. — In Search of Recruits in Ar- 
kansas. — The Giles Homestead. — Sensation caused by a Soldier's 
Uniform. — A prospective Recruit. — Bashful Maidens. — A nice little 
Flirtation. — Learning how to be agreeable to the Ladies. — A Lesson 
in masculine Manners. — A terrible Situation. — Causeless Alarm. — 
The young Lady becoming sociable. — A few matrimonal Hints. — The 
successful Commencement of a Soldier's Career. — Anticipations of fu- 
ture Glory. — Dreamless Slumbers. 

HE plan of action I had fixed upon, 
after mature reflection, was to raise 
and equip a battalion at my own ex- 
pense, taking care to select good 
material for it, and then to appear at 
the head of my little army before my 
husband, and to offer him the com- 
mand. I pictured to myself again 
and again the look of astonishment 
he would put on when he recognized 
his wife as the leader of a gallant 
band who were pledged to fight to 
the death for the cause of Southern 
independence, and flattered myself 
with the idea that, so far from being 
inclined to censure me for my obstinate persistence in carrying 
out my idea of becoming a soldier, he would be disposed to 
praise without reservation, and so far from being ashamed of 
my action, would be proud of it. Whatever view of the mat- 
ter he might take, however, he would be compelled to yield 
to my wishes, whether he desired to do so or not, and I would 
consequently be free to follow the bent of my inclinations 
without fear of further opposition on his part. My desire 
was to serve with him, if possible ; but if this could not be 
done, I intended to play my part in the war in my own way, 



without bis assistance. I, however, did not contemplate any- 
further dilHculty in obtaining his consent, and even his assist- 
ance, in the execution of my plans, and so started out on the 
war-path with a light heart, and with brilliant anticipations 
for the future. 

With my satchel, containing a change of under-clothing and 
a few other traps, in my hand, I crossed over to Hopefield, on 
the Arkansas side of the river, and took the five o'clock train, 
not knowing exactly where I proposed to bring up. For a 
time I busied myself with the study of my Manual of Tac- 
tics, with tlie intention of becoming sufficiently posted on 
certain points to get my recruits into something like military 
training immediately. Having been the wife of an army of- 
ficer for a number of years, and having seen some hard ser- 
vice on the frontier, I was, in a measure, pretty well qualified 
for the work I had now undertaken, especially as I had paid a 
good deal of attention to the details of military organizations, 
and had seen soldiers drilled hundreds of times. I had not been 
in the train very long, before, finding the conductor at leisure, 
I entered into conversation with him, with a view of obtaining 
information that might be useful in the furtherance of my 

Explaining to this individual, who appeared to take the live- 
liest interest in my aftairs, that I was on a recruiting expedi- 
tion, I asked him if he could not suggest a good neighborhood 
for me to commence operations in. He said that Hurlburt 
Station was as likely a place as I could find to pick up a com- 
pany of strong, hearty fellows, who would do some good 
fighting, and advised me to try my luck there. Hurlburt, he 
told me, was not much of a place, — a saw-mill, a country 
store, in which the post ofiice was located, a school-house, 
which was also used as a church, being pretty much all there 
was of it. The country around, however, was tolerably well 
settled, and most of the young men thereabouts would, he 
thought, be rather glad of a chance to have a crack at the 

Hurlburt Station. 

The train speeded through the swamps, and it was not a 
great while before we reached Hurlburt Station, where, in 
accordance with the conductor's suggestion, I alighted. With 
my satchel in my hand, I made for the nearest house, and in- 
quired of a negro, who was chopping wood, whether his mas- 


ter was at home. The darkey stared at me a bit, evidentlj 
attracted by something in my appearance, and then, grinning 
until he showed all his ivories, said that the old boss was 
away, but that the young boss was about somewhere. I ac- 
cordingly told him to call the young boss ; and soon up came a 
well-built, good-looking young fellow, whom I fixed upon im- 
mediately as a suitable recruit. In response to my inquiry 
whether I could stop there a few days, he said, with a laugh, 
" I guess so, if you can stand our fare. We haven't any ac- 
commodation for travellers, but pap never turns anybody 

I replied, " I guess I can stand your fare, if you treat mo 
well in other respects." 

" We'll do the best we can for you," he said. " Come in, 
and I'll call mammy and the gals." 

The house to which he conducted me was a rude affair, 
constructed with logs daubed over with mud, and with only 
one door, which appeared to have no other fastening than a 
wooden latch. I quickly made up my mind that a smart young 
fellow like Frank Giles — for such, he took occasion to inform 
me, was his name — would not hesitate very long about mak- 
ing up his mind to abandon these rather dismal surroundings, 
for the sake of embracing such an opportunity for seeing 
something of the world, and of participating in exciting ad- 
ventures, as I proposed to offer him. 

As we entered the house, Frank bawled out at the top of 
his voice, " Mammy, here's a man who wants to stop here." 

The old woman put in an appearance in a moment or two, 
and greeted me with a certain amount of cordiality, saying, 
in reply to my request for board and lodging for four or five 
days, " Well, sir, we're poor folks, and ain't got much to give 
you ; but we'll do the best we can, if you choose to stop with 

I replied that I reckoned things would suit well enough, as 
I wasn't hard to please, and, in compliance with an invitation 
to make myself at home, took off my cap, and began to remove 
my duster. 

The old woman and the young fellow both stared at me 
with open-mouthed astonishment when they saw my uni- 
form, which, up to this time, had been concealed by my long 
linen duster. When they could recover themselves, they 
began to deluge me with questions. The old woman seemed 
rather suspicious of me at first, and evidently surmised that I 


had some intention of carrying off Frank, and making a soldier 
of him. As for Frank, the sight of my brass buttons fired 
him with mihtary ardor immediately, and I perceived that 
there would be no difficulty whatever in securing his enlist- 

" I guess you're an officer ; ain't you ? " said Frank, follow- 
ing up this question with another one before I could open my 
mouth for a reply. " What are you going to do down here ? " 

" Yes, I am an officer, on a recruiting trip," I answered. 
" What chance do you think I will have in getting some good 
fighting fellows in this neighborhood?" 

" What army do you belong to ? " demanded Frank, appar- 
ently a little dubious about the colors I fought under. 

" To the army of Virginia," I replied. 

" Then I reckon you are for the South?" said he. 

" Certainly, sir," said I ; " and you swear by the same colors 
that I do ; don't you ? " 

" Of course I do." And then he commenced a perfect siege 
of questions about what a soldier Avould have to do, how long 
was the war going to last, would there be much fighting, and 
expressed the liveliest desire to take a hand at licking the 

I told him that I had the army regulations with me, and 
would take pleasure in explaining them to him in the morning. 
I then asked him to give me some water, so that I could clean 
myself up a bit before supper, as I was pretty well covered 
with dust and cinders after my ride. He accordingly got me 
a basin of water, and then left me to go off and hunt the old 
man, full of eagerness to toll him of the arrival of the recruit- 
ing officer, and of his own desire to go soldiering. 

A Sensation among the Women. 

The sudden intrusion of a gallant young officer, in a gay 
uniform, plentifully decorated with buttons and lace, into the 
Giles homestead, made an even greater impression on the 
female than upon the male part of the family. My arrival had 
clearly created an intense excitement, and I understood very 
well that I was the subject of the whispered conversation 
that I heard going on outside. From the manner in which 
the old woman and her son had addressed me, I knew that 
they had no suspicions of my being other than what I seemed, 
but I judged that it would be necessary to be pretty careful 


how I carried myself before the former, for she was clearly a 
sharp one, and would be quick to take note of any peculiarly 
feminine traits of manner I might display. I therefore deter- 
mined to play the man right manfully, whether I thought my- 
self observed or not ; and this I found to be a very good rule 
to go by throughout the entire period during which I wore 
my disguise. 

While making my toilet, I noticed the old woman and a 
couple of girls peeping at me through a crack in the wall, and 
I accordingly, without appearing to notice them, took pains to 
strut about in as mannish a manner as I could, and to imitate 
a man's actions and gestures while washing my face and hands 
and arranging my hair. 

After a bit, Mrs. Giles and her daughters came into the room, 
the girls blushing up to their eyes, and dreadfully abashed, at 
being compelled to go through with the ceremony of an intro- 
duction to the handsome and gayly dressed young officer. 
The eldest of the two daughters was about sixteen, and was 
attired in a bright, flaring yellow calico ; the youngest was 
about twelve years of age, and was somewhat less unbecom- 
ingly dressed in pink. Both of the girls had put on the best 
they had to do honor to the occasion, and the eldest, especially, 
so soon as her first bashfulness wore off, seemed very much 
disposed to attract the particular attention of the visitor by 
various little feminine artifices, which I understood very well, 
and which amused me immensely. 

On entering the room, the old woman said, awkwardly 
waving her hands towards her daughters, " These is my gals, 

I bowed in the politest manner, and said, with what I in- 
tended to be a particularly fascinating smile, " Good evening, 
ladies," laying a particular emphasis on the word " ladies ; " 
which had the desired effect, for both of the girls blushed 
deeper than ever, and the eldest simpered as if she heartily 
enjoyed it. The daughters, however, were too much confused 
just yet to do a great deal in the way of conversation ; so, for 
the sake of sociability, and to put the entire party at their 
ease, I started a talk with the old woman, by remarking that 
it had been an exceedingly pleasant day. 

" Yes," replied Mrs. Giles ; " but the craps need rain." 

After a few commonplaces of this kind about the weather, 
and other matters of no particular moment, I thought I might 
as well proceed to business at once ; for I expected that I 


would have some opposition from the old Avoman in my cflort 
to enlist Frank. So I said, " Madam, I am trying to enlist 
your son for a soldier in my company ; don't you think you 
can spare him? " 

She burst out crying, and exclaimed, " 0, sir, I can't let my 
boy go for a soldier and get killed." 

The youngest girl, seeing her mother in tears, began to 
blubber a little also; but the eldest not only did not cry, but 
she looked at me in such a peculiar way, that I was convinced 
she wished I would take her instead of Frank. 

An Arkansas Belle, 

The idea of having a mild little flirtation with this fair 
flower of the Arkansas forest rather grew upon me as I noticed 
the impression I was making upon her susceptible imagina- 
tion. I had some curiosity to know how love-making went 
from the masculine standpoint, and thought that the present 
would be a good opportunity to gain some valuable experience 
in that line ; for it occurred to me that if I was to iigure suc- 
cesssfuU}^ in the role of a dashing young Confederate officer, it 
would be necessary for mo to learn hoAv to make myself im- 
mensly agreeable to the ladies. I knew how to make myself 
agreeable to the men, or thought I did, and I could, if I chose, 
be agreeable to women in a feminine sort of fashion ; but I 
had never studied the masculine carriage towards my sex crit- 
ically, with a view of imitating it, and it Avas important, there- 
fore, that I should begin at once to do so, in order that when 
compelled to associate with women, as I assuredly would be to 
a greater or less extent, I might not belie my outward appear- 
ances by my conduct. I flatter myself that during the time I 
passed for a man I was tolerably successful with the women ; 
and I had not a few curious and most amusing adventures, 
which gave me an insight into some of the peculiarities of 
feminine human nature which had not impressed themselves 
on my mind before, perhaps because I was a woman. 

My flirtation with Miss Sadie Giles was not a very savage 
one, and I hope that it did not inflict more damage on her 
heart than it did on mine. It was immensely amusing to me 
while it lasted, and I presume, if not exactly amusing, it might 
at least be deemed entertaining to her. At any rate, I suc- 
ceeded not only in having a little sly fun at her expense, but 
I picked up an idea or two that I subsequently found useful. 


Noticing that Miss Sadie was developing a marked par- 
tiality for me, but was much too bashful to give me any en- 
couragement, except some shy glances out of the corners of her 
eyes, 1 commenced to ogle lier, and, whenever I had an op- 
portunity, to pay her some delicate attentions, for the purpose 
of making her think I was just a bit fascinated with her. It 
goon became very evident that the heart which beat under 
that yellow calico dress was in a great state of excitement, and 
Miss Sadie, while not encouraging me by any direct advances, 
made it very plainly understood that my little attentions were 

While I was conversing with the old woman on the subject 
of Prank's enlistment, and trying to convince her that it was 
better for him to volunteer than to wait to be drafted, — fol- 
lowing Miss Sadie with my eyes all the while, and letting her 
see plainly that I was thinking more of her than of her mother, 
— I heard the youngest daughter. Fan, who had meanwhile 
left the room, saying to her father that there was a soldier in 
the house who had come to take Frank away to the war. The 
old man made his appearance a moment later, and, shaking 
me very cordially by the hand, gave me a hearty welcome, 
and apologized for the meagreness of the accommodations he 
was able to offer. I judged from his manner and from his 
language that he had seen better days, and that his education 
was much superior to that of his wife and children. 

Supper was now announced, and we all sat down to a toler- 
ably plentiful repast, the principal features of which were 
bacon, cabbage, and fried chickens — the latter having been 
prepared in my honor. Miss Sadie managed to place herself 
by my side, by a dexterous little manoeuvre, which escaped the 
attention of the family, but which I understood perfectly. I, 
for my part, strove to play the gallant by helping her boun- 
tifully to the bacon, cabbage, and chicken, and by endeav- 
oring to induce her to join in the conversation. She undoubt- 
edly appreciated my attentions at their full value, but was not 
sufficiently self-possessed to do much talking ; indeed, during 
the supper I covild scarcely get anything out of her except a 
timid yes or no. 

The old man, on the contrary, was very talkative, and plied 
me with all kinds of questions about myself, my errand, the 
war, and the prospect of a speedy accomplishment of Southern 
independence. I told him that my name was Buford, that I 
was a lieutenant in the army, and that I had been sent down 


to Arkansas for the purpose of recruiting a company for service 
in Virginia. He said that I would have no difficulty in get- 
ting all the recruits I wanted, as the young fellows in those 
parts were every one eager to have a dash at the Yankees, 
and promised to aid me in every way possible. 

The apartment in which the supper was served was about 
ten by twelve feet, and was used as a kitchen as well as din- 
ing and sleeping-room. Everything about it was dreadfully 
dirty, and the table at which we were eating, and the bench 
upon which Miss Sadie and myself were seated, were both so 
greasy that I was much afraid of seriously soiling my new 
clothes ; and I do not doubt that my agitation on this subject 
was attributed by the yellow-calico clad damsel beside me to 
the close proximity in which I was placed to her. I ate heartily 
of the viands that were set before me, paying more attention, 
however, to the chicken than to the greasy bacon and cabbage, 
which latter, however, were eaten with great gusto by my 

My Mustache in Danger. 

Before the supper was over I had a terrible fright, and for 
a few moments fancied that I was on the brink of a discovery 
that would upset all my plans, and nip my enterprise in the 
bud. While drinking a glass of buttermilk, which I greatly 
enjoyed, for it was the best thing on the table, and was most 
refreshing, my mustache got full of the fluid, and when I at- 
tempted to wipe this ornament, which my Memphis friend had 
so carefully glued upon my upper lip, and which added so 
much to the manliness of my countenance, I fancied that it was 
loose and was about to fall off. Here was a terrible situation, 
and I cannot undertake to describe what I felt. To say that 
I was frightened, scarcely gives an idea of the cold chills that 
ran down my back. The ridicule of my entertainers, and 
especially of Miss Sadie, was the least thing that I feared, and 
I would rather brave any number of perils at the cannon's 
mouth than to repeat the emotions of that dreadful moment. 
Such a situation as this is ludicrous enough, but it was not a 
bit funny for me at that time ; and I was on pins and needles 
until I could get away, and take means to secure the mustache 
firmly on again. I managed, however, to keep a straight 
countenance, and to join in the conversation with a tolerable 
degree of equanimity, keeping my hand up to my mouth all 
the time though, and doing my best to hold the mustache 



on. My fright, after all, was causeless, for on examination I 
found that the hair was too firmly glued to my lip to be easily 
removed ; indeed, I subsequently discovered that it was prac- 
tically impossible to move it without the aid of alcohol. 

After supper, the old man and Frank went off to finish up 
their work before going to bed, and the women folks busied 
themselves in clearing the dishes. I had thus a little time to 
myself, and took advantage of it, first of all, to ascertain about 
the security of my mustache. To my intense relief I found it 
as fast as if it actually grew on my lip; and so, with a light 
heart, I returned to the house, and joined the old woman and 
the girls. 

During the supper, the elder Giles nearly monopolized the 
conversation, and scarcely gave his wife and children a 
chance to put a word in edgewise. I saw very plainly that 
the old woman was worried at the prospect of losing Frank, and 
consequently prepared to sustain a heavy siege of queries and 
expostulations from her. Leaving the girls to finish putting 
away the supper things, she seated herself, in the corner, 
and began pulling vigorously at a pipe filled with some very 
strong smelling tobacco, which was far from grateful to my 

After a variety of inquiries about the war, the duties of a 
soldier, the chances of being killed, the amount of pay a sol- 
dier received, and like matters, she asked whether I had any 

I replied that my father was living. 

" Ain't he opposed to your going to the war ? " said she. 

" 0, no," I answered ; " he knows that it is what a military 
man must expect ; and he not only wants me to go, but he 
will be disappointed if I do not see some hard fighting, and 
have a chance to distinguish myself." 

" Are you married ? " was the next query. 

" No, madam," I replied, giving a sharp look at Sadie, who 
made a pause in her rattling of the dishes to hear what I 
would say ; " I am one of the unfortunate single men." 

'' You are much better off, young man," struck in the old 
man Giles, who just then came in ; and throwing himself on the 
bench, began to smoke a very strong pipe rather furiously. 

Hearing the girls giggle at this, I glanced over my shoulder, 
and seeing that Miss Sadie had finished her work, and was 
apparently anxious to be better acquainted with me, I politely 
arose and offered her my raw-hide chair. This she blushingly 


declined, but took a wooden stool, upon which she seated 
herself quite close to me. I could think of nothing so likely 
to loosen her tongue, and make her properly sociable, as a 
reference to religious matters ; so I asked her if there were 
any churciies in the neighborhood. 

She said that there was no regular church, but that on Sun- 
days a preacher held forth in the school-house ; and then, 
without much difficulty, we got into quite a discussion about 
religion, and from that to other matters of more immediate 
interest, if not of so much permanent importance. The old 
man, I presume, was rather tired, and so, taking advantage of 
this change of subject in our conversation, he went to bed, 
and soon was snoring lustily. Finally, Miss Sadie got back to 
what was the subject uppermost in her thoughts, and began 
questioning me about my own affairs, by asking if I had any 

" Yes," I replied ; " one, older than myself, who is more 
fortunate, for he is married," — giving a look at her out of the 
corner of m}' eye, Avhich I intended her to understand as an 
intimation that, although not married, I had no objections to 
being so if I could find a girl to suit me. 

" You ought to be married, too," said Miss Sadie, with a 
simper, and apparently appreciating this kind of conversation 
much better than the war talk the old man and I had been 
indulging in. 

" How can I get married when none of the girls will have 
me ? " 1 retorted. 

" You git out," was the rather irrelevant remark Miss Sadie 
made at this point, but giving me no reason to believe that 
she meant her words to be construed literally. 

The old woman thinking, I suppose, to flatter me, said, " A 
handsome young fellow like you, with, I dare say, a pretty 
fair education, needn't be afraid of the gals not having you." 

At this point of the conversation the old man awoke, and 
sang out, " Don't you women talk that man to death. Why 
don't you git out and let him go to bed ? " and then, pointing 
to a bed in the corner, he told me to turn in there when I felt 
like it. 

The End of a Day's Adventuee. 

This was a broad enough hint that Mr. Giles did not want to 
hear any more conversation that night ; so I excused myself to 
the old woman and the girls, and stepped out on the porch to 


think a little by myself as to what I had best do next. Here 
I was at the end of my first day's experience in playing the 
part of a soldier, with every reason to believe that I had thus 
far played it most successfully, and that I had really made 
quite a brilliant start. The prospects were all in favor of the 
easy accomplishment of my immediate designs, and I saw 
myself, in imagination, already at the head of a company of 
stalwart young recruits, appearing in the presence of my as- 
tonished husband, and asking him to lead us to battle. That 
I could successfully pass myself off for a man with both sexes 
was an assured fact, for the elder Giles and Frank undoubt- 
edly took me for just what I professed to be, and the latter 
was both willing and anxious to enter himself upon my muster- 
roll, while the susceptible heart of Miss Sadie was apparently 
touched in a way that it could never have been had the 
faintest suspicion of my not being a man crossed her mind. 
The old woman, too, who, in a matter of this kind, would be 
quite certain to be a more critical observer than the rest of 
the family, had no hesitation in believing me to be a gallant 
young soldier ; so that, taking all things into consideration, I 
had reason to congratulate myself upon a brilliant opening to 
my campaign. 

My hopes were high, and my heart beat quick at the 
thoughts that crowded upon me of the future that seemed 
opening out before me, as under the soft stars of that April 
night I paced up and down before the house maturing my plans 
for the morrow, and indulging in romantic imaginings of the 
glory that awaited me, could I but follow up successfully the 
career so auspiciously begun. The thought of possible failure 
only crossed my mind to be banished from it, and I resolved to 
dare everything to make success a certainty and not a mere 
peradventure. At length, wearied in mind and body by the 
fatigues and excitements of the day, I sought the couch which 
the hospitality of the Giles family had provided me. 

When I got back to the room the old woman and the girls 
had disappeared, and the head of the house was snoring in 
one corner of the room. I had a large sum of money on my 
person, and a handsome gold watch ; quite enough portable 
property, in fact, to tempt people so dead poor as my enter- 
tainers, and I was somewhat dubious at first about the best 
manner of disposing of my valuables for the night. I finally, 
however, concluded to merely take off my coat, vest, and boots, 
and to put my money and watch under me in such a manner 


that they could not he touched without my being aroused. My 
I'evolver was also examined, and found to be in good sliooting 
condition, and was placed beneath the pillow so that I coukl 
easily grasp it in any emergency requiring its use. Tliese 
preparations completed, I threw myself upon the bed, and ere 
many minutes, overcome with fatigue, I fell into a deep and 
dreamless sleep. 




Flirtation and Recruiting. — My brilliant Success in enlisting a Company. 
— Embarkation for New Orleans. — Letter from my Husband. — 
Change of Plans. — Cheered while passing through Mobile. — Arrival 
at Pensacola. — Astonishment of my Husband. — Sudden Death of my 
Husband by the Bursting of a Carbine. — Determination to go to the 
Front. — A fascinating Widow. — A Lesson in Courtship. — Starting 
for the Seat of War. — Unpleasant Companions. — A bit of Flirtation 
with a Columbia Belle. — In Charge of a Party of Ladies and Children 
at Lynchburg. — Arrival in Richmond. — Another Lady in Love with 
me. — The Major wants to make a Night of it. — A great Game of 
Cards. — Off for the Battle-field. 

HE noise of a cofFee-mill, operated in a very 
energetic manner by one of the daughters of 
the house, and the yelling of half a dozen ill- 
conditioned dogs, disturbed my slumbers in 
the morning, at an hour when I fain would 
have kept possession of my couch, in spite of its 
unsavoriness. I knew that it was time to get up, but 
the fingers of sleep pressed heavily upon my eyelids, 
and I lay for some time half awake and half lost in 
slumber, not quite certain as to exactly where I was, 
wondering if camp-life was as rough as this, amused at myself 
for thinking of such a thing, when I knew that many a soldier 
would envy me my surroundings, and then dropping off amid 
a cloud of fancies into a sound doze again. The rather pier- 
cing tones of Miss Sadie, calling to Frank, and a fresh outbreak 
of yells from the dogs, awoke me again, and this time in good 
earnest. I jumped out of bed, thinking that this kind of 
laziness would never do if I intended to be a soldier, and 
pulling on my boots, I stepped out on the porch. 

The dawn was far advanced, but the sun was still below the 
horizon, and the air was dull and heavy with dampness and 
with the miasmatic vapors of the neighboring swamps. It 
required some little exertion for me to shake off the lethargy 




that clung to my limhs, but after a wash in a wooden bowl 
filled with water, tliat Frank brought me, I felt refreshed, and 
ready to begin with proper energy the work of the day. I 
was not very long in arranging my toilet, using my own soap 
and towels, which I fortunately had brought with me, for they 
were articles with which the Giles homestead did not appear 
to be over plentifully supplied, and was in the midst of a 
discussion with Frank as to the best method of proceeding in 
order to enlist the number of men I desired, when the old 
woman put her head out of the door and squeaked, " Come to 
breakfast, Mister." 

I was in a few moments seated by the side of Miss Sadie, 
who was still attired in the brilliant yellow calico dress, 
which was evidently the most esteemed bit of costume her 
wardrobe afforded. She blushed furiously as I greeted her, 
but was so evidently partial to me, that the other members 
of the family could not but take notice of it, and there was 
not a little sport at her expense. I overheard Frank say to 
her, in a loud whisper, " You need not stick yourself up for 
that fellow; he don't want you." 

At this I redoubled my attentions, and Miss Sadie showed 
very plainly by her manner that she was highly flattered by 
them, so much so, that when Frank, seeing how things were 
going, whispered maliciously, " I'll tell Bob how you are going 
on with that soldier," she only turned up her nose, and gave 
her head a toss in a manner that indicated as plain as words, 
that Sadie's Arkansas sweetheart had been completely cut out 
by the military individual seated beside her. It was not 
altogether bad fun to indulge in a bit of a flirtation with Miss 
Sadie, for she enjoyed the flattering attentions I paid her 
immensely, but as I had matters of more importance upon 
my hands, it was impossible for me to make myself as 
agreeable to her as she would have liked me to. 


When breakfast was over, I went out to see the girls milk 
the cows, and then, after chatting a bit with Sadie, I crossed 
over to the school-house, where I found half a dozen rather 
rough fellows waiting to see me, all of whom expressed them- 
selves as extremely anxious to enlist. One very hard-looking 
specimen, who could not even write his name, wanted very 
badly to be captain ; indeed, they all were quite ambitious to 


be officers, and I had some difficulty in explaining to them, 
that in the army, in time of war, where actual fighting was 
being done, it was a very diiFerent thing holding the posi- 
tion of an officer, from what it was in the militia. I, 
however, encouraged them to believe that they all might be 
lieutenants, captains, and even generals, some day, if they 
fought bravely, and succeeded in creating such an enthusiasm 
among them over the prospect of a brush Avith the Yankees, 
to be followed by rapid promotion, that the whole party were 
soon ready to enlist on any terms I chose to suggest. 

After talking the matter over with these men for some time, 
and explaining the situation in the best style I was able, I 
wrote out some bills calling for volunteers, one of which I 
posted on the school-house door, and the rest I gave to Frank, 
who mounted a horse, and started off' to distribute them 
through the country. During the day I read the army regula- 
tions at least a dozen times, and tried to make the men 
understand what they meant, This was not a very easy 
matter, but 1 succeeded in enrolling thirty-six, whom I 
ordered to report for roll call the next morning. This they 
did not much fancy ; but on my stating that they were under 
oath, and bound to obey, they yielded without making any 
trouble about it, but apparently with no great admiration for 
military discipline. 

* My quota was easily filled in four days, and I then proceeded 
to get my battalion organization complete, and to make prepa- 
rations for departure. Two of the most intelligent of the 
men I appointed subordinate officers, one sergeant and the 
other corporal ; and gave them instructions about drilling the 
battalion, and maintaining discipline in my absence. Every- 
thing now being in proper trim, I sent a messenger ahead 
to the friend in Memphis who had so efficiently aided my 
plans, with instructions for him to engage transportation, and 
then getting my troops into marching order, off we started. 

Having seen my little army under way, I lingered for a 
moment to bid good-by to the Giles family. The old man 
did not much fancy losing both his boys, — for his youngest 
son Ira had enlisted as well as Frank, — but he stood it bravely ; 
the old woman, however, broke down entirely, while both the 
girls cried, Miss Sadie, I thought, more at the idea of parting 
with me than at losing her brothers. I, however, begged them 
to keep their courage up, and to expect the boys home soon, 
covered with glory, as the heroes of many well-fought fields. 


Miss Sadie's hand I squeezed a bit as I said farewell, and I 
fancy that her lover, Bob, had some difficulty after that in 
obliterating the impression the young officer had made upon 
her heart. 

On the March. 

I determined to march my men to the river, in order to 
break them in ; but before we got to the landing, a good many 
of them were decidedly of the opinion that soldiering was 
much harder work than they had calculated upon. None of 
them showed any disposition to back out, however, and the 
majority, despite the fatigue of the march, were quite elated 
at the prospect before them of being able to see something of 
the world. 1 do not think any of them appreciated the real 
importance of what they were doing, and looked upon the 
whole affair much in the light of an excursion, which would be 
rather jolly than otherwise. Indeed, to tell the truth, I rather 
regarded the thing in that light myself, notwithstanding that I 
had seen enough of military life for me to understand some- 
thing of its serious character. 

At the landing I met my Memphis friend with my baggage 
and equipments and a tent, and with blankets and camp 
utensils for the use of the men. He also handed me a letter 
from my husband. This I eagerly read, and much to my 
disappointment, learned from it that he had gone to Pensacola. 
I determined, however, to push on and meet him there, for I 
was bent on carrying out my original idea of surprising him, 
and of offering him the command of my battalion. I accord- 
ingly embarked my men — two hundred and thirty-six in all 
— upon the steamer Ohio Belle, and issued to them blankets 
and other articles necessary for their comfort. 

My plan now was to go down to New Orleans, where I 
should be able to procure such stores and equipments as were 
immediately needed, and where I could perfect my disguise ; 
for, not only did my padded coat not fit me as it ought, but it 
was almost unbearably warm, and I was anxious to substitute 
something more comfortable for the padding at the earliest 
possible moment. My friend accompanied me as far as Vicks- 
burg, where he bade me adieu, the tears springing to his eyes 
as he did so, for he could not dispossess himself of the impres- 
sion that I was engaged in a foolhardy and dangerous enter- 
prise, out of which I could scarcely come with credit to myself 
and friends. He, however, did not attempt to dissuade me, 


for the time for argument had long since passed, and he knew 
perfectly well that I was determined to follow my own 
inclinations at whatever hazard. 

On arriving at New Orleans, I landed my men a short 
distance above the city, and then, with as little delay as 
possible, purchased my quartermaster and commissary stores, 
and perfected my private outfit in the manner stated in a 
previous chapter. Among my other purchases wag a fine 
horse, which I obtained from Dr. Elliott, on Union Street. 
No finer body of men ever went out of New Orleans than the 
Arkansas Grays, as my battalion was called. As we passed 
through Mobile we were heartily cheered, the men waving 
their hats, and the women their handkerchiefs, and everybody 
commenting in the most laudatory terms upon our martial 
appearance, I cannot pretend to tell how proud I was, 
when I noted how much attention we were attracting ; and if 
the shadow of a doubt as to the propriety of the course I 
was pursuing remained in any mind, it assuredly vanished as 
the cheers of the citizens of Mobile greeted my ears. I felt 
that, in spite of my being a woman, I was intended for a 
military leader, and I resolved, more firmly than ever, to let 
nothing stand in the way of my winning the fame I coveted. 

A Genuine Surprise. 

At Pensacola we were received by my husband, who came 
to meet us in response to a telegraphic despatch I had sent 
him, signed by my iwm de guerre. He had not the slightest 
idea Avho I was, and would not have recognized me had I not 
revealed myself. So soon as I was able, however, after land- 
ing my men from the train, I took him aside where I could 
speak to him privately, and disclosed my identit}'". He was 
intensely astonished, and greatly grieved, to see me come 
marching into Pensacola at the head of a body of men in such 
a guise, and said, that although I had done nobly, he would 
not for the world have had me attempt such a thing. I told 
him, however, that there was no use of discussing the matter, 
for I Avas determined to be a soldier, and then placed in his 
hands the muster-rolls of my company, to show him how well 
I could do what I undertook. He was proud of the ability I 
had displayed in carrying out my plans, and seeing the use- 
lessness of further argument, took command of the men, and 
commenced putting them in training. After they were 


mustered in, and stationed in camp, Thomas C. De Caiilp was 
appointed first lieutenant, and Frank Murdock second lieuten- 
ant, while I was ordered back to New Orleans to purchase 
more stores and equipments. 

The Death of my Husband. 

I had scarcely arrived at my destination when I received a 
despatch announcing the death of my husband, and requesting 
my immediate return. Terribly shocked, and nearly wild 
with grief, I started for Pensacola again, and found, upon my 
arrival there, that, while drilling his men, my husband under- 
took to explain the use of the carbine to one of the sergeants, 
and the weapon exploded in his hands, killing him almost 
instantly. I was now alone in the world, and more than ever 
disposed to take an active part in the war, if only for the 
purpose of revenging my hufsband's deatli. Smothering my 
grief as much as possible, I turned over the command of my 
battalion to Lieutenant De Caulp, for the double reason that 
the men were only enlisted for three months, and were to be 
stationed in Pensacola, or its vicinity, where there was not 
much prospect of very active service just then, and that I 
had resolved to go to the front in the character of an inde- 
pendent, with a view of leading a life of more stirring 
adventures than I probably should be able to do if permanently 
attached to a particular command. 

A Pretty "Widow. 

During the brief time I had been in Pensacola I had formed 
the acquaintance of a number of officers who were going to 
the front, and, as tliey intended to leave for Richmond shortly, 
I concluded that it would be better to go in their company, 
especially as several of them were first-rate fellows, and one 
or two particular friends of my late husband. I also became 
acquainted witli a good many ladies, one of whom, a dashing 
young widow, paid my masculine charms the compliment of 
falling desperately in love with them. This lady did not 
require any encouragement from me ; but finding that, while 
polite to her, I Avas ratlier shy and reserved, and apparently 
insensible to her attractions, she made a dead set at me, and 
took pains to let me know, in terms that could not be misunder- 
stood, the sentiments she felt for me.. 


I was really in no mood for nonsense of this kind, and, fo 
tell the truth, I was not particularly pleased with the 
decidedly unfeminine advances that were made towards me. 
The necessity of playing the character I had assumed, how- 
ever, in a successful manner, pressed upon me, and I felt that 
diversion of some kind was requisite to divert my mind 
from the sad and gloomy thoughts caused by my bereavement. 
I accordingly determined to meet my fair one half way, and 
paid her numerous attentions, such as taking her to the theatre, 
and to drive upon the beach. I, however, resolutely refused 
to accept any of the numerous very broad hints she threw 
out, to the effect that a little more love-making would be more 
than agreeable, at which she seemed considerably surprised. 
Finding, at length, that I either could not or would not under- 
stand what she was driving at, she bluntly reproached me for 
not being more tender in my demonstrations towards her. I 
put on the innocent air of a green schoolboy, perfectly non- 
plussed with the advances of a pretty woman, and assured her 
that I had never courted a lady in my life, and really did not 
know how to begin. The eagerness with which the widow 
undertook to instruct me, was decidedly comical, and I learned 
more about some of the fine points of feminine human nature 
from her in a week, than I had picked up for myself in twenty 
years. The courting w^as pretty much all on her side, and I 
really had not imagined before that it was possible for a lady 
to take such an important matter so entirely out of the 
gentleman's hands. For the fun of the thing I pretended to 
soften to her, and by the time I was ready to start for Virginia, 
we were the best possible friends ; and although I was careful 
to make no definite promises, the widow parted from me with 
the understanding that when the war was over we were to be 
something more than friends to each other. If I were a man, 
it would be absurd for me to tell all this, but being a woman, 
this and other of my love adventures have a comical interest 
for me, as I doubt not they will have for the reader. If they 
do not show some of the members of my own sex in the best 
possible light, it is their fault and not mine. 

Off "for Virginia. 

On the 16th of June I started for Virginia, in company with 
quite a jovial party of fellows, who were much disposed to 
make a frolic of their journey. They had a good deal of 


whiskey with them, and I was constantly importuned to 
drink, my declining to do so not having the best possible 
effect on some of them. The conversation became more and 
more profane and ribald, as the whiskey produced its natural 
effect ; and being almost the only sober person in the party, I 
was not only intensely disgusted, but the warnings I had 
received from my husband came into my mind, and had a most 
depressing influence upon me. Much of the talk was mere 
meaningless blackguardism, and my ears were saluted for the 
first time with nastiness in the shape of language, such as it 
would bave been impossible for me to have imagined the 
tongues of human beings to utter. It was an intense relief 
to me when, about four o'clock, the train arrived at Mont- 
gomery, and I was able to get by myself for a little while. 

At the Exchange Hotel I met Mr. Leroy P. Walker, the 
secretary of war, with whom I had a very pleasant conversa- 
tion about the prospects of the contest with the North, the 
political situation, and other matters of interest. The next 
day I bought a smart and mannerly negro boy, named Bob, of 
about eighteen years of age. I procured him a proper suit 
of clothes and a military cap, and then gave him charge of 
my baggage, with instructions to keep a sharp eye on my 
effects, to behave himself properly, and to come to me when 
he wanted spending money. Bob proved an excellent 
servant, taking care of my clothing in good style, and when 
we were in camp, attending to my two horses in a very 
satisfactory manner. 

From Montgomery I went to Columbia, South Carolina, 
where I remained over for several days. During my stay in 
this place I formed the acquaintance of a very pleasant 
family, one of the young ladies of which. Miss Lou, seemed to 
be quite taken with me. I was invited to the house, and 
passed a number of agreeable hours there, and on parting, Miss 
Lou gave me her address, requesting me to write to her, and 
pinned a small C. S. flag on my coat. 

On the train bound north, there was another quite jovial 
party, but, very much to my gratification, not so much 
addicted to whiskey-drinking, blasphemy, and obscenity, as 
that with which I had started out. A good deal of the con- 
versation was about wives and sweethearts, and pictures of 
the loved ones at home were freely handed about. I was 
rallied rather severely because I could not show a photograph 
of my sweetheart, and some of the men intimated that I must 


be a poor kind of a man not to be able to find a girl to 
exchange photographs with me. I took the sharp things they 
thought fit to say of me in good part, and replied that I did 
not doubt of my ability to get a sweetheart soon enough when 
I wanted one. 

A Lady's Man. 

Before the journey was ended, I had an opportunity to prove 
myself as good a lady's man as the best of them, for at 
Lynchburg, where we were compelled to remain over all 
night, on taking the train for Richmond, an elderly gentleman 
stepped up, and after inquiring my destination, asked if 1 
could take charge of some ladies. I replied that I would do 
so with pleasure ; but was rather taken aback when I found 
mj^self placed in the position of escort to five women and two 
children. I could not imagine what induced the old gentle- 
man to pick out a little fellow like me, when so many much 
larger, older, and more experienced officers were present, 
some of whom were greatly my superiors in rank. I was 
dreadfully embarrassed, but resolved to play the gallant to the 
best of my ability, although my heart was in my throat, and I 
could scarcely find voice to announce myself as Lieutenant 
Buford, when he inquired my name for the purpose of intro- 
ducing me. 

I was about to inquire whether the ladies had their tickets 
and checks, when the old gentleman presented them, very 
much to my satisfaction. Excusing myself for a few moments, 
I went to attend to checking my own baggage. While I was 
engaged in this occupation, an officer of my party, who was 
tolerably full of liquor, approached, and slapping me on the 
back, exclaimed, " You'i'e a lucky fellow to fall in with such a 
nice lot of feminines ; won't you introduce me ? " 

" Not unless the ladies give their consent," I replied. " If 
they are willing, and a good opportunity offers, I have no 

Just then the bell rang, and I hastened to escort the ladies 
to the car. My tipsy friend, who was determined to show 
his gallantry at all hazards, whether his services were agreea- 
ble or not, stood ready to lend his assistance ; but as he could 
not but make himself offensive in the condition he was in, I 
determined to snub him so completely that he would not have 
the temerity to intrude on us again. Drawing myself up to 
my full height, and putting on as severe a manner as I could 


command, I said, "Excuse me, sir, but these ladies are under 
my charge, and I am able to take care of them without 

He gave me a rather defiant look, but otherwise took this 
snub quietly enough, and went into another car, while I joined 
the ladies feeling several inches taller, and with an increased 
confidence in myself. 

We were soon under way, and had a pleasant enough ride, 
or at least it would have been pleasant enough had I not been 
tormented with the fear that they would penetrate my dis- 
guise, and discover that I was not what I pretended to be. 
No suspicions were excited, however, and we finally arrived 
at Richmond without anything having happened to mar the 
enjoyment of the journey. On alighting from the cars, I pro- 
cured carriages to convey the several members of the party 
to their destination ; two of the ladies, however, accompanied 
me to the Ballard House, where I obtained rooms for them. 
The youngest of my newly-found female friends, — a very 
pretty girl, who seemed to have taken quite a fancy to me, — 
had the room adjoining mine, and I had scarcely established 
myself in my new quarters, when a waiter knocked at the 
door and handed me a card from her, asking me to escort her 
to supper. 1 laughed to myself at this, and fancying that I 
had succeeded in making another conquest, determined to get 
myself up in the best style I could, and to do credit to the 
uniform 1 wore by showing her that her appreciation was not 
misapplied. I dressed myself in my best apparel, and, after 
a visit to the barber's, I was ready to play the gallant in the 
best possible manner. 

An Embarrassing Position. 

It was all well enough while I was pacing the corridors 
of the hotel with mademoiselle on my arm, but I confess 
that my heart failed me when we entered the dining-room, 
and I fancied that everybody was looking at us. When the 
big steward, advancing towards us with his politest bow, 
said, " Lieutenant, step this way with your lady," and then 
turning to one of the waiters, told him to attend to this 
gentleman and lady, it seemed to me as if every eye in the 
room was fixed on me. I was a rather conspicuous object, it 
is true, for my uniform, made of the best cloth, and trimmed 
with buttons and gold lace, was well calculated to attract atten- 


tion, while the lady on my arm being rather taller than myself, 
made me even more an object for the curious to gaze at than 
if I had been alone. The probabilities, however, are, tliat I 
imagined myself to be creating a much greater sensation 
than I was, and it was not a great while before I became 
accustomed to be stared at, and learned not to mind. My 
feelings on entering the dining-room, however, were not the 
less unpleasant for being imaginary, and I was in no mt)od to 
develop my talents as a conversationalist for the delectation 
of my companion. 

The young lady was nothing daunted by my silence, and 
chattered away at a great rate on all imaginable subjects, and 
finally succeeded in putting me somewhat at my ease. I was 
just beginning to feel a little comfortable, when in came 
several persons, my friend, the major, among them, whom I 
had met in Memphis. They sat down nearly opposite to us, 
on the other side of the room. I could see by their glances 
in our direction, and by the laughing manner in which they 
conversed, that they were discussing my lady and me, and I 
tried all I could to avoid noticing thern. The major, however, 
at length caught my eye and saluted me, and from a motion 
he made, I was dreadfully afraid that he intended to come 
over and join us. My lady at length finished her supper, 
much to my relief, and I hurried her out of the room as fast 
as I could, and repaired to the drawing-room, where I excused 
myself on the plea that I had urgent business to attend to, 
as I intended leaving the city on the first train. She seemed 
extremely reluctant to part company with me, and would not 
let me go until I promised to see her again before I left the city. 
In bidding her good night, she extended her hand ; and when 
I took it, she gave mine a squeeze, that indicated as plain as 
words that a trifle more forwardness on my part would not 
be disagreeable. I was a little bit disgusted with her very 
evident desire to capture me, and was very glad to get her 
off my hands, my determination on parting being not to see 
her again if I could avoid doing so. 

As I strode down the hall, I was overhauled by my Memphis 
friends, who were very glad to see me, and asked me all kinds 
of questions about myself, affairs in Memphis, the operations 
of the Army of the West, and other matters of similar interest. 
A good deal of the information I gave them Avas fictitious, 
while the rest was made up from telegrams, the newspapers, 
and conversations I had overheard; but it answered the 


purposes of the moment, and was probabl)^ about as near the 
truth as the greater part of the war talk that was going on 
around us. I told them that I intended joining Johnston's 
army, and tliat 1 was bound to have a hand in the fight that 
was coming oiF, and was anxious to get to tlie front as soon as 

After some further conversation of this kind, the major 
proposed that wo should take a carriage and see the city. 
We accordingly drove around for a while, seeing the sights, 
and visiting numerous bar-rooms and gambling-houses, and 
before a great while the major, who took rather big drinks 
every time, was very much inclined to be noisy, and to insist 
upon our making a night of it with him. I had no desire for 
his company any longer than I could help, and I especially did 
not desire to go through with the particular kind of perform- 
ance which he called " making a night of it ; " so, resisting his 
his importunities, I invited another member of the party, a 
captain, and a very gentlemanly, quiet sort of a fellow, to play 
a game of cards Avith me. The major, finding that he could 
not get us to join him, started off to hunt other companions, 
while the captain and I returned to the hotel, where we 
played " old sledge," until one o'clock in the morning. 

On going to my room, I found a note from my lady friend, 
requesting me to visit her in her chamber. This considerably 
astonished me, and assuredly did not increase my good 
opinion of her. I was almost tempted, however, to comply, 
just for the sake of hearing what she had to say to me, but 
wisely concluded that, situated as I was, it would be more 
prudent to avoid any further acquaintance with such a forward 
specimen of my sex. 

I slept late the next morning, having forgotten to give 
directions for being called, and found, much to my satisfaction, 
on inquiring of the clerk, that my lady had left before I was 
out of bed. After breakfast, I ordered Bob to have every- 
thing ready for our departure by the six o'clock train. While 
strolling about the street, I was accosted by an officer, who 
asked me to show my papers. I told him that I had none, but 
that I was an independent, and had recruited, and put in the 
field, at my own expense, a battalion of two hundred and 
thirty-six men. This seemed to highly delight him, for he 
shook me warmly by the hand, asked me to step over to 
his office, where he could furnish me with transportation, 
and otherwise showed a desire to be of service to me. I 


thanked him, but declined the offer, on the plea that I pro- 
posed to pay my own way. 

During the day I bought two horses and shipped them, 
and provided myself with a number of articles necessary for 
the campaign upon which I was about entering. Returning 
to the hotel, I paid my bill, had a lunch put up, and my 
baggage got ready, while Bob blacked my boots and brushed 
my coat. As ill luck would have it, however, I missed the six 
o'clock train, and was consequently compelled to remain 
another night in Richmond. The next morning, however, 
Bob and I were off in the five o'clock train, the darkey ap- 
parently as anxious as myself to see what fighting really 



Joining the Army in the Field. — Trying to get a Commission. — The 
Skirmish at Blackburn's Ford. — Burying the Dead. — I attach my- 
self to General Bee's Command. — Tlie Night before the Battle of Bull 
Run. — A sound Sleep. — The Morning of the Battle. — A magnificent 
Scene. — The Approach of the Enemy. — Commencement of the Fight. 

— An Exchange of Compliments between old Friends. — Bee's Order 
to fall back, and his Rally. — " Stonewall " Jackson. — The Battle at 
its fiercest. — The Scene at Midday. — Huge Clouds of Dust and 
Smoke. — Some tough Fighting. — How Beauregard and Johnston 
rallied their Men. — The Contest for the Possession of the Plateau. — 
Bee and Bartow killed. — Arrival of Kirby Smith with Re-enforcements. 

— The Victory Won. — Application for Promotion. — Return to Rich- 

WAS now about to enter upon the realization 
of all my dreams, to see some real warfare, to 
engage in real battles, to do some real fighting, 
and, as I fondly hoped, to have some opportuni- 
ties of distinguishing myself in a signal manner. 
I was never in better health and spirit than on 
that bright summer morning, when I left Richmond 
for the purpose of joining the forces of the Confed- 
eracy in the face of the enemy ; and the nearer we 
approached our destination, the more elated did I be- 
come at the prospect before me of being able to prove 
myself as good a fighter as any of the gallant men who had 
taken up arms in behalf of the cause of Southern independence. 
I had only one fear, and that was, that I should be stopped on 
account of not having the proper papers ; but my motto was, 
" Nothing venture, nothing have ; " and I was bent on facing the 
thing through, and trusting to luck to bring me out all right. 
Fortunately I had no trouble of any kind, and arrived safely 
at Clifton, — a supply-station about a dozen miles from the 
headquarters of the army in the field. 

At Clifton I bought a couple of fine horses, and on the 15th 
of July set out for headquarters, with a view of being assigned 
to a command where I should have a chance to see some fight- 
ing. I sought an interview with a prominent general, but he 



was in rather a crust}" humor ; and as he did not seem inclined 
to talk with -me, I concluded not to bother him, but to take my 
chances as matters might shape themselves for the accomplish- 
ment of my designs. His adjutant was more polite, and de- 
"sired to emplo}^ me as a courier ; but this did not suit my 
notions, and I consequently declined. I told him that I was 
an independent, paying my own expenses, and that the only 
thing 1 wanted was an opportunity to take a han'd in the 
coming fight. I suppose he thought that I was entirely too 
independent for him, for he said no more, but turned away, 
and went about other afiairs. 

Trying to get a Commission. 

General Beauregard was in command of the entire army ; 
but I felt a hesitation in approaching him, especially after the 
rebuff I had just received. Thinking that the shortest way to 
get what I wanted was to obtain a regular commission, I 
offered an officer, with whom I became acquainted, five hun- 
dred dollars for his. He would not sell, however ; and I then 
went over to Brigadier General Bonham, who was holding 
Mitchell's Ford, and introduced myself to him. General Bon- 
ham looked at me sharply, and asked what company I be- 
longed to. 

'^ To none," I replied. " I belong wherever there is work 
to do." 

" Well," said Bonham, " you are the right sort to have 
around when a fight is going on. If you stay here a little 
while, I reckon you will be able to find plenty of work." 

I took this as a hint that I might make myself at home, 
and, bowing myself out of the general's presence, went to 
look after my boy Bob. The darkey w-as just beginning to 
have some appreciation of what fighting was really like, and 
was badly scared. I told him that if he ran off and left me, I 
would kill him if I ever caught him again ; which threat had 
its desired effect, for he stuck to me through thick and thin. 

The Skirmish at Blackburn's Ford. 

At half past twelve o'clock, on the 18th, the enemy made a 
sharp attack, but did not do any great damage. Kemper's 
battery, which occupied the ridge on the left of the Centre- 
ville road, performed efficient service in holding the Yankees 


in chock. Soon, however, the enemy advanced in strong 
force, and attacked General Long-street's brigade at Black- 
burn's Ford. Our pickets fell slowly back across tiie Ford, 
which was crossed by our skirmishers, and for some time a 
rapid but irregular firing was kept up between the two contend- 
ing armies. Longstreet, however, soon was in a condition to 
meet the attack squarely ; and bringing about three thousand 
infantry into position, he succeeded in repulsing the enemy 
after a sharp skirmish of nearly an hour's duration. Later, 
Longstreet was re-enforced by Brigadier General Early's bri- 
gade, and the enemy finding us too strong for them, was forced 
to retreat from the field. As they broke and ran, 1 fired a last 
shot at them with a dead man's musket, which I picked up. 
During the greater part of this fight, the men belonging to the 
two armies who engaged in it were often not more than a few 
feet from each other, and it seemed more like a series of duels 
than anything such as I had imagined a battle would be. It 
was during tliis affair that I had the pleasure of meeting Avith 
a man I had heard a great deal about, — Colonel J. B. Walton, 
of the Washington artillery. He was a brave man, and a 
very genial, pleasant fellow. 

This skirmish was but the prelude to the great battles of 
Manassas or Bull's Run, which Avas fought on the 21st of 
July, 18GL It served, however, to initiate me, and to make 
me impatient to see an engagement of real importance, in 
which I should have an opportunity to make a first-rate display 
of my fighting qualities. I was the more anxious for a big 
fight soon, as I had been placed temporarily in command of a 
company, the senior officer of Avhich had been killed, and I was 
afraid that if a fight was long delayed I should be superseded, 
and should be compelled to lose my best chance of distinguish- 
ing myself. I had no occasion, however, to be afraid of a fight 
not coming off", for we had ample information of all the move- 
ments of the enemy, and knew that he was about to advance 
upon us in full force, so that the conflict was likely to begin 
at almost any moment. I was able, therefore, to take part m 
the first great battle of the war, under the best possible aus- 
pices, and to thus accomplish what had been one of the great 
objects of my ambition from my earliest childhood. There 
may have been men Avho did harder fighting at Bull Run tlian 
myself, but no one went through the fight with a stouter 
heart, or with a greater determination to behave valiantly, 
and, if possible, to give the enemy a sound thrashing, if only 


for the sake of affording him an idea of the magnitude of the 
job he had undertaken in attempting to coerce the Southern 

Burying the Dead. 

On the 18th I assisted, with the rest, to bury the dead, my 
boy, Bob, rendering us efficient service in the performance of 
this duty. When night came I was tired out, and, lying 
down on the bare ground, slept soundly until four o'clock the 
next morning. When I awoke, I was weary and sore in all 
my limbs through the unusual exertions I had been compelled 
to make, and the exposure to the hot sun in the day time, and 
the damp air and cold ground at night. I was not sick, how- 
ever ; and as I had no doubt that I should soon get used to this 
kind of rough life, I never thought of giving up, especially as 
a great battle was impending, upon taking part in which my 
heart was bent. 

At daybreak, on the 19th, I was in my boots, and ready to 
march. Passing through Ashby's Gap, we reached the little 
town of Piedmont, on the Manassas Gap Railroad, where we 
halted. On the 20th, General Johnston arrived at Manassas 
about noon, and was folhnved b}^ two Georgia regiments and 
Jackson's brigade of gallant Virginians. Then came Bernard 
E. Bee, with the fourth Alabama regiment and the second 
regiment, and three companies of the eleventh regiment of 
Mississippians. On account of some delay, or detention on the 
railroad, it was now found necessary to hold a council of war, 
and to make some changes in the plans already aranged. 

When the troops were once more in motion, I followed 
Bee's line through a dense wood, as far as Sudley's Road. 
General Bee, at this place, appointed me a special messenger, 
and sent me with an order to Colonel Wheat, of the Louisiana 
battalion, and also to General Evans, whose command was 
about six hundred yards distant. Evans was an officer whom 
I had heard much talked of, and whom I greatly desired to 
see. He was commonly designated, by the officers and men, 
as " Shanks," and he looked very much as if the kind of liquor 
he was in the habit of drinking did not agree with him. 

It was well known that the Federals intended to attack us 
in force on Sunday, the 21st, and preparations were made to 
give them the rights kind of a reception when they appeared. 
Although full of excitement at the prospect of taking part in 
a great battle, one that, perhaps, would enable us to secure 


the independence of the South at a single blow, — for the 
skirmishes in which I had thus far been engaged only seemed 
to Avhet my appetite for fighting, and to make me more than 
ever desirous of seeing what a really desperate-fought battle 
was like, — I succumbed to the fatigues I had undergone, and 
passed the greater part of the niglit, before the terrific conflict 
at Bull Run, in a dreamless sleep. I had fancied that sleep 
w^ould be impossible to me under such circumstances; but a very- 
little experience as a soldier was sufficient for me to be a1)le 
to fall into a soldier's way of doing things, and I soon learned 
to take my rest as naturally and composedly upon the bare 
ground as if on the most downy couch, and not even the ex- 
citements and anxieties incident to an impending battle could 
prevent my tired eyes from closing after a long and fatiguing 
day passed under a broiling July sun. 

The Morning of the Battle op Bull Run. 

On the morning of the day of the battle I was awake at 
dawn, and ready to play my part in the great drama which was 
about to begin ; and although some of the men around me had 
been disposed to laugh at the efforts of the little dandified inde- 
pendent to get a chance to display his valor, not one of them was 
more eager for the fight than myself, or was more bent upon 
doing deeds of heroism. If I had allowed myself to be irritated 
by snubs from officers, who behaved as if they thought the re- 
sults of the war depended upon them alone, 1 should have gone 
back to Richmond in disgust several days before the battle 
came off, and shouki have resumed the garb of my sex, -with a 
determination never to figure as a man again. 1 was not to 
be bluffed by anybody, however ; and having come thus far to 
see and to take a hand in a great battle, I had no thought of 
turning back for any cause, or under any circumstances, no 
matter what might be said or thought of me. 

I labored under some disadvantages in not having a regular 
commission, and not being attached to a regular command. 
This exposed me to slights that would otherwise not have been 
put upon me, and prevented officers, who would, under some 
circumstances, have gladly taken advantage of my readiness 
to attend faithfully to any task assigned me, to avail them- 
selves of my services. On the other hand, my being an in- 
dependent, enabled me, to a great extent, to choose my own 
position in the battle, and I probably, therefore, had a better 


opportunity of distinguishing myself than I should have had 
otherwise. I was especially bent upon showing some of them, 
who were disposed to smile at me on account of ray j^etite figure 
and jaunty air, that I was as good a man as any one of them, and 
was able to face the enemy as valiantly. This I did show 
them before the day was over, and I was highly elated at the 
commendations which some of the best soldiers bestowed upon 
the " plucky little devil," as they called me. 

By the time it was fairly daylight, the preparations for 
meeting the enemy were well advanced, and the sun rose in 
all his majesty upon a host of men drawn up in battle array, 
— the brave among them anxious for the fray to begin, the 
cowards — and there were plenty of them in both armies, — 
trembling in their boots, and eager for a pretext to sneak 
away, and hide themselves from the coming danger. The 
morning was a beautiful one, although it gave promise of a 
sweltering day ; and the scene presented to my eyes, as I sur- 
veyed the field, was one of marvellous beauty and grandeur. 
I cannot pretend to express in words what I felt, as I found 
myself one among thousands of combatants, who were about 
to engage in a deadly and desperate struggle. The supreme 
moment of my life had arrived, and all the glorious aspirations 
of my romantic girlhood were on the point of realization. I 
was elated beyond measure, although cool-headed enough, and 
watched the preparations going on around me with eager in- 
terest. Fear was a word I did not know the meaning of; and 
as I noted the ashy faces, and the trembling limbs of some of 
the men about me, I almost wished that I could feel a little 
fear, if only for the sake of sympathizing with the poor devils. 
I do not say this for brag, for I despise braggarts as much as I 
do cowards ; but, in a narrative like this, the reader has a 
right to know what my feelings, as well as my impressions, 
were, upon so important an occasion as my appearance as a 
combatant upon the battle-field, where the Confederate troops 
first gave the enemy a taste of their genuine quality, and 
achieved their first great victory. 

The Advance of the Enemy. 

As the hot July sun mounted upwards through the almost 
cloudless sky, and the mists of the morning disappeared before 
his ardent beams, the approach of the enemy could be dis- 
tinctly traced by the clouds of dust raised by the tramping of 


thousands of feet, and, once in a great while, the gleam of the 
bayonets was discerned among the heavy clumps of timber 
that covered the undulating plain which the connnanders of 
the armies of the South and the North had selected for their 
first trial of strategy and of strength. The desultory firing 
with which the battle opened soon w^as followed by rapid 
volleys, and ere the morning was far advanced, the sharp 
rattling of the musketry, the roar of the artillery, and the 
yelling of the soldiers, developed into an incessant tumult ; 
while along the entire line, for miles, arose clouds of yellow 
dust and blue smoke, as the desperateness of the conflict in- 
creased, and the men on either side became excited with the 
work they had in hand. 

It soon became apparent that the position in which fortune 
had placed me was to be the chief point of the Federal attack, 
and that my immediate comrades would be compelled to bear 
the brunt of the battle. The gallant Colonel Wheat was 
severely wounded early in the day, but he succeeded in 
checking the advance of the enemy, and in maintaining his 
position, until General Bee, on being informed of the peril he 
was in, advanced to the Henry House wath the Alabama regi- 
ment and Imboden's artillery, and from thence crossed the 
valley to the support of Evans's command. The Federals 
were in strong force, there being, probably, fifteen thousand 
immediately in front of us, and they followed up their first 
sharp attack with some desperate fighting. The commands 
of Bee, Evans, and Bartow were all soon actively engaged in 
resisting the advance of vastly superior numbers, and had 
quite as much as they could attend to to do it. I attached 
myself to my favorite officer, Bee, and remained with his com- 
mand during the entire day. 

Bee orders his Men to fall back. 

The Federal artillery, which sent its shell showering over 
us, and bursting in our ranks, creating terrible slaughter, was 
commanded by an acquaintance of mine, Ricketts. I did the 
best I could to give him as good as he sent, for the sake of 
old times when we were friends, and when we neither of us 
imagined that we would some day be opposed to each other 
on the battle-field. The Confederates, although greatly out- 
numbered, succeeded for a long time in maintaining their 
ground, in spite of the odds against them, and again and again 


pierced through the enemy's lines. Our men suffered ter- 
ribly, however, the seventh Georgia and fourth Alabama regi- 
ments, especially, being very badly cut up. At length, despite 
all our eftbrts. Bee was compelled to give the order for us to 
fall back, the enemy having been heavily re-enforced by the 
commands of Sherman and Keyes. 

The Federals, doubtless, thought that the victory was theirs 
when they saw us in retreat. It was a terrible moment, and 
my heart failed me when I heard Bee's order. I was wrought 
up to such a pitch of excitement, while the fight was going on, 
that I had no comprehension whatever of the value of the 
movements being made by the different commanders. I only 
saw the enemy before me, and was inspired by an eager 
desire to conquer him. I forgot that I was but a single 
figure in a great military scheme ; and as, while we stood 
face to face with the foe, every man on the other side be- 
came for the moment my personal enemy, whom 1 was furious 
to overcome, so, when by the general's command, we were 
compelled to fail back, I was overcome with rage and indig- 
nation, and felt all the shame and mortification of a personal 

" Stonewall " Jackson. 

I soon, however, saw the object Bee had in view in his 
momentary retreat, when he rallied his men in the rear of a 
house, and gave them a breathing spell, until "Wade Hamp- 
ton's legion and Jackson's brigade could come to their assist- 
ance. This movement on the part of Bee afforded me an 
opportunity to cool off a little, and to observe the ebb and flow 
of the tide of battle more critically. I ere long was able to 
understand the general plan upon which the action was being 
conducted, and to view the combatants as masses to be wielded 
in a certain way for the accomplishment of definite objects, 
and not as a mere howling mob, bent only on a momentary suc- 
cess. From this point, therefore, the battle became more in- 
teresting than ever, and while none the less exciting, simply 
as a personal adventure, — for my spirit rose and sank as vic- 
tory or defeat seemed likely to rest upon our banners, — I was 
more under the dominion of my reason, and less of my pas- 
sions, than I had been when the fight commenced. 

Bee rallied his men, with a voice of thunder, saying, " Mj 
boys, at them again ! Victory or death ! See how Jacksou 
stands there like a stone wall." This last expression seemed 


to please the men mightily, for they took it up immediately ; 
and with a cheer for " Stonewall " Jackson, they made another 
dash at the enemy. 

At noon the battle was at its fiercest, and the scene was 
grand beyond description. The simile that came into my 
mind was the great Desert of Sahara, with a broiling sun 
overhead, and immense whirlwinds of sand rolling along 
over the plain between heaven and earth. The red dust from 
the parched and sun-dried roads arose in clouds ni every 
direction, while the smoke from the artillery and musketry 
slowly floated aloft in huge, fantastic columns, marking the 
places wliere the battle was being fought with most bitterness. 
The dry and motionless air was choking, to the nostrils, from 
the dust and smoke Avhich filled it, while the pitiless July sun 
poured its hottest rays upon the parched and weary comba- 
tants. It was a sight never to be forgotten, — one of those 
magnificent spectacles that cannot be imagined, and that no 
description, no matter how eloquent, can do justice to. I 
would not have missed it for the wealth of the world, and was 
more than repaid for all that I had undergone, and all the 
risks to my person and my womanly reputation that I incurred, 
in being not only a spectator, but an actor, in such a sublime, 
living drama. 

The Pinch of the Fight. 

At the moment when Bee rallied his men for another grap- 
ple with the enemy, I would have given anything could I but 
have had the strength to make a clean sweep of our opponents, 
and, by a single blow, end the great struggle. Looking towards 
the hill which, in the morning, had been occupied by three of 
our bravest and best generals — Beauregard, Johnston, and 
Bonham — and their staffs, I saw it covered with men fighting 
with desperation ; all along the valley were dense clouds of 
dust and smoke, while the yells of the excited soldiery, and 
the roar of the guns, were almost deafening. 

Hard pressed by the greatly superior Federal force, our 
men at several points Avavered and fell back, and at one time 
there was every prospect of a panic. This disgrace was 
spared, however, largely by the personal exertions of Beaure- 
gard and Johnston, who darted along the line, and succeeded 
in rallying the men, and in bringing them up to their Avork 
again. General Johnston turned the fortunes of the day by 
charging on the enemy, Avith the colors of the fourth Alabama 


regiment at his side. This was the pinch of the fight ; for the 
enemy were bearing down upon us with a large I'orce of in- 
fantry, cavalry, and artillery, and the personal example of 
Generals iJcanregard, Jolmston, and other prominent officers, 
who plunged into the thickest of the melee, had an immense 
eflect in encouraging the men to resist to the last, no matter 
what the odds against them might be. 

The fiercer the conflict grew the more my courage rose. 
The example of my commanders, the desire to avenge my 
slaughtered comrades, the salvation of the cause which I had 
espoused, all inspired me to do my utmost; and no man on the 
field that day fought with more energy or determination than 
the woman who figured as Lieutenant Harry T. Buford. 

At two o'clock the right of Beauregard's line was ordered 
to advance — with the exception of the reserves — to recover 
the plateau, for the possession of which both armies had been 
fiercely contending. Stonewall Jackson succeeded in piercing 
the enemy's centre, but his troops suffered terribly in doing 
so. Bee, while leading iiis fourth Alabama regiment in a 
charge, fell mortally wounded about a hundred yards from the 
Henry House. Fifty yards farther north, Bartow -was shot, and 
was caught, as he fell from his horse, by General Gartrell, then 
commanding the 7th Georgia, and by his order carried to the 
rear. His last words were, " Boys, I am killed ; but don't 
give up the field." Colonel Fisher, of the sixth North Caro- 
lina regiment, was also among the killed. He was a noble 
fellow. The conflict now became more bitter than ever, and 
at one timo it seemed that we should be compelled to succumb 
to the fierce attacks which the enemy were making against 
us. At this crisis, a courier came up to me with a message 
for General Johnston, to the effect that the Federals had 
readied the line of the Manassas Gap Railroad, and were 
marching on us with a heavy force. Had this information 
been correct, it would have been all up with us. Fortunatelvj 
however, the advancing troops were those of Kirby Smith, 
and consisted of about tAvo thousand infantry and Beekman's 
artillery. The arrival of this force decided the fate of the 
battle, and the Federals fled, defeated, from the field, while 
our army fell back to Manassas Junction. 

After the battle, I appealed to General Jackson for the pro- 
motion which I considered that I had fully earned, and he 
gave me a recommendation to General Bragg for a recruiting 
commission. This I did not care about, for I thought that 1 


did not need his permission or his aid to do recruiting duty, 
and determined to wait and see if something better would not 
offer. I accordingly remained for some time with my ac- 
quaintances of the fifth and eighth Louisiana regiment, hoping 
that another battle would come off at an early day. Finding, 
however, that there was no prospect of a fight very soon, and 
becoming tired of inactivity, I determined to return to Rich- 
mond, for the purpose of seeing whether it was not possible for 
me to find some work to do suited to my abilities. 



Erroneous Ideas about the War. — Some of the Effects of the Battle of Bull 
Run. — The Victory not in all Respects a Benefit to the Cause of the 
Confederacy. — Undue Elation of Soldiers and Civilians. — Richmond 
demoralized. — A Quarrel with a drunken Officer. — An Insult resented. 
— I leave Richmond. — Prospect of another Battle. — Cuttinij a Dash in 
Leesburg. — A little love Affair. — Stern Parents. — A clandestine Meet- 
ing. — Love's young Dream. — Disappointed Affections. — In Front of 
the Enemy once more. — A Battle expected to come off. 

iHAVE remarked in a previous chap- 
ter with regard to the men be- 
lono-ina; to the battalion which I 
recruited in Arkansas, that they 
seemed to be under the idea that 
they were going on a pleasant hol- 
iday excursion, rather than that they 
were engaging in a very serious 
business, which would demand all 
their energies, if the object they had 
in view was to be secured. I frank- 
ly confess that I was not altogether 
free from the feeling which pre- 
vailed, not merely Avith the young 
fellows like my Arkansas recruits, 
who were glad of any pretext for getting away from their 
rather dismal surroundings, and who thought that fighting the 
Yankees would be good iun, but with all classes of society. 
The expression constantly heard, that one Southerner could 
whip five Yankees, was not mere bounce, but it really repre- 
sented what nearly everybody thought ; and very few had 
any doubt as to the speedy end of the conflict that had been 
begun, or that it would end in the recognition of Southern 
independence. It took time to convince our people that they 
had no holiday task to perform ; but the difficulty of eftectively 
forcing the Federal lines, in spite of victories Avon by Con- 



federate arms in the field, combined with the privations caused 
by the constantly increasing efficiency of the blockade, at 
length compelled all classes of people at the South to realize 
the fact that tliey had a tough job on their hands, and that if 
they expected to obtain their independence it would be neces- 
sary for them to work, and to work hard for it. 

In man}^ respects, the victory at Bull Run was anything but 
a benefit to the South. The panic which overtook the. Federal 
soldiers, so far from communicating itself to the people of the 
North, only inspired them with a determination to wipe out 
the disgrace, and they hurried men to the front with such 
rapidity and in such numbers, that they soon had a force in 
the field which compelled the Confederates to act upon the 
defensive, and to think about the means of resisting invasion 
instead of attempting to assume the aggressive. On the other 
hand, not only the men who fought at Bull Run, but the whole 
South, were greatly elated at having won the first great battle; 
and, overestimating the importance of their victory, they 
were more than ever impressed with the idea that whipping 
the Yankees was a remarkable easy thing to do. 

Relaxation in Discipline. 

The result of all this was, that discipline in the army, in- 
stead of being kept up to the best standard, was relaxed, and 
hundreds of good fighting men, who thought that the war was 
virtually over, were permitted to go home, while many others 
lounged round the camps, or went to Richmond, for the pur- 
pose of having a good time, when they ought to have been 
following up their success by further blows at the enemy. 

It is easy enough now to see the mistakes that were made, 
and any narrative of the war would be incomplete were not 
some note made of them. I do not pretend, however, that I 
was any wiser at the time than other people, or that I had any 
better appreciation of the magnitude of the insk we had before 
us. Experience is a bitter teacher ; and Experience in this 
case was too late in giving her instructions for it to do any 

As for myself, I was just like hundreds of other young of- 
ficers, eager to fight as much for the excitement of the thing 
as anything else ; but having little comprehension of the real 
situation, or the gigantic obstacles which stood in the way of 
the realization of our hopes, I chafed at the inactivity which 


followed the battle of Bull Run, hopinpj for anotlicr engage- 
ment which would enable me to display my valor, but was 
disposed to have as good a time as was possible while tho 
thing lasted, whether any tigliting was going on or not. 

Tlie victory at Bull Run, while it elated the whole iSouthern 
people, and very greatly excited their hopes and expectations, 
was most demoralizing to Richmond, to which city the capital 
of the Confederacy had been removed a short time before the 
battle came olf. Crowds of soldiers, officers, and privates 
thronged the streets, when they ought to have been on duty 
in the field ; while innumerable adventurers, male and female, 
were attracted to the seat of government in the hope of making 
something out of the war, careless of what happened so long 
as they were able to fill their pockets. Money was plenty, 
entirely too plenty, and the drinking-saloons, gambling-houses, 
and worse resorts, reaped a rich harvest. For a time all went 
merrily ; but after a while, as month after month wore away, 
and no substantial fruits of our brilliant victory were reaped, 
and the prospect of a severe contest became every day more 
decided, those who, like myself, had their hearts in the cause, 
began to be impatient and disgusted at the inactivity that 
prevailed, and were disposed to do a good deal of growling. 
I confess that I enjoyed the excitement of life in Richmond at 
this period hugely for a time, but 1 soon had enough of it, and 
was glad to get away. 

After the battle of Bull Run I did as much tall talking as 
anybody, and swaggered about in fine style, sporting my 
uniform for the admiration of the ladies, and making myself 
agreeable to them in a manner that excited the envy of the 
men, and raised me immensely in my own esteem ; for 1 began 
to pride myself as much upon being a successful lady's man 
as upon being a valiant soldier. 

A Little Unpleasantness. 

The only adventure of any consequence that I had in 
Richmond, however, was a difficulty with a lieutenant, who 
started a quarrel with me without the slightest provocation 
on my part, and who, finding me apparently indisposed to 
have any words with him, seemed to think that he could insult 
me witli impunity. I stood a good bit of insolence from him 
on account of his being in liquor, and endeavored to avoid 
him. As I was much smaller than himself, and so evidently 


■unwilling to quarrel, he probably thought that it was a good 
opportunity to air the spirit of" blackguardism, which is the 
strongest characteristic of some people, and persisted in fol- 
lowing me up. At length I could not stand his insolence any 
longer, and to put a stop to it slapped his face. He evidently 
had not expected anything of this kind, for he seemed stunned 
for a moment, while I walked off, determined to take no fur- 
ther notice of him, unless absolutely compelled to do so. When 
he recovered himself he gave me a volley of abuse, and threat- 
ened to shoot me ; but, fortunately for himself, a friend who 
had seen the encounter stepped up, and taking him in charge, 
prevented him from making a fool of himself any further. I 
thought that perhaps he might attempt to revenge himself in 
some way for the indignity I had put upon him, but he doubt- 
less came to the conclusion that tliis was a case where discre- 
tion was the better part of valor, and so prudently kept out of 
my way. I never saw his homely visage again, although I 
everyday appeared in the most public places, where he would 
have had no difficulty in finding me if he had desired to. 

One of Cupid's Mistakes. 

Not being successful in getting the kind of appointment I 
desired at Richmond, I concluded to try my luck elsewhere. 
I went to Danville, and remained a couple of days, and on my 
return to Richmond obtained a pass and transportation for 
the West. When I got as far as Lynchburg, however, I 
changed my mind, owing to meeting some of the boys from 
Leesburg, who persuaded me to go there with them, as there 
was every prospect of another fight coming off soon. This 
suited me exactly, and to Leesburg I accordingly went, with 
a full determination to take a hand in a battle if one did come 
off. The fight did occur, although not so soon as I expected 
or wished, and I played my part in it as successfully as I had 
done at Bull Run, In the mean time, however, I splurged 
around Leesburg in fine style, and enjoyed myself immensely, 
being quite as successful as I had been in other places in 
winning the regards of the members of my own sex, not one 
of whom appeared to have the slightest suspicion that I was 
other than I pretended to be. 

One young lady in particular, Miss E., showed a marked 
regard for me ; and as she was a very charming girl, our 
acquaintance would probably have developed into a decided 


attachment, had I not been sailing under false colors. I was 
sorry that I could not reciprocate, in a proper manner, the very 
evident partiality she displayed towards me ; and I more than 
half regretted that I permitted matters to go as far as I did, 
when I found what an impression I was making on her suscep- 
tible heart. It was necessary for me to sustain the character 
I had assumed, of a dashing young officer; and, situated as I 
was, it was important that I should make myself as agreeable 
as possible to the members of my own sex. Apart from this, 
however, much of the male society into which I was thrown 
was so very disagreeable to me, that I was glad to escape from 
it by seeking that of lady friends. It afforded me some amuse- 
ment, too, to carry on a bit of a flirtation with a nice girl ; and 
I was very much tempted to entertain myself in this manner, 
without reflecting very deeply as to the consequences. I am 
very willing to admit that 1 otight not to have acted as I did 
in this, and some other similar cases ; and if anything should 
occur to induce me to assume male attire again, I should care- 
fully avoid making love to young ladies, unless I had occasion 
to do so for the immediate furtherance of my plans. My error 
in allowing myself to indulge in flirtations with my own sex, 
arose from thoughtlessness, and from a desire to play my part 
to the best advantage ; and I am sure my readers will forgive 
me, as I hope the youug ladies, whom I induced to indulge 
false expectations, Avill, when the publication of this narrative 
makes known to the world the whole truth about the identity 
of Lieutenant Harry T. Buford, C. S. A. 

A Cool Reception. 

I met Miss E., by accident, in a store, and she was intro- 
duced to me by a youug dry goods clerk, with whom I had 
struck up an acquaintance. After a little conversation on indif- 
ferent subjects, she gave me a very pressing invitation to call 
on her. I said that I would do myself the honor, and accord- 
ingly put in an appearance, dressed in my best, at her resi- 
dence. She received me with many smiles and with great 
cordiality, and introduced me to her father and mother. As 
I noticed that the old people were rather inclined to be a 
little cool, and evidently did not regard me with overmuch 
favor, I cut short my visit, and, politely bowing myself 
out, determined, in my own mind, never to enter the house 


Had I been a man, the conduct of the parents would 
probably have spurred me to court the favor of the daughter 
with more pertinacity than ever. I have noticed that parental 
opposition to a young man generally has this sort of stimu- 
lating effect upon him; but, being a woman, I did not look at 
the thing exactly from a masculine point of view, and, as the 
French say, Lejeuri'en valait jxis la chandelle. 

I was sufficiently piqued, however, to accept any advances 
the young lady might make with some degree of favor, and 
to revenge myself upon the old people, by making myself 
intensely agreeable to the daughter, in spite of them. When 
Miss E., therefore, showed a very marked disposition to 
continue our acquaintance, I was quite ready to meet her 
half way. 

The next day I met her on the street, and she, with a 
pleasant smile, said, ^' I ho^De that you were not offended last 

" Certainly not," said I. " Why should I be ? Nothing 
has happened to offend me ; " just as if I had not noticed the 
behavior of her parents. 

'' 0, yes, there has," she answered. " Pa did not behave 
at all polite to you ; but then he treats all the young men 
who come to see me in the same way, so you must not mind 

She then informed me that, if I wished, I could see her at 
her cousin's ; and as she seemed to be exceedingly anxious to 
have me call upon her again, I consented to do so. As we 
walked up the street together she pointed out her cousin's 
house, and I made an appointment to meet her there the next 
day, at five o'clock. I then went Avith her to within a short 
distance of her home, but declined to go to the door ; not that 
I cared for what the old folks might say or think, but because 
I thought that perhaps she might get a scolding. 

On parting with my little lady, I went immediately to a 
livery stable, and, hiring a team, ordered my boy Bob to drive 
past Miss E.'s home, for the sake of showing the old gentle- 
man what kind of style I could put on. Then going to the dry 
goods store, I took my friend, the clerk, out with me for a turn 
around the town, but did not inform him with regard to what 
had occurred between the young lady and myself. 

I was punctual in keeping my appointment with Miss E. ; 
and whether it was that my stylish team had impressed her 
imagination, or that it was really a case of love at first sight, 


she was even more cordial in lier manner towards me than 
on the previous occasions Avhen we had met. 

Slie asked me innumerable questions about myself, where I 
was from, who were my parents, and seemed to be particularly 
anxious to find out all about me. 

I made up a story that I thought was suited to the 
occasion and the auditor ; and, among other things, told her 
that I was the son of a millionnaire, that 1 had joined the 
army for the fun of the thing, and that I was paying my own 

This seemed to make a great impression, on her ; and, with 
a very significant smile, she said she wished that the war 
would soon end, and that I would settle permanently in Lees- 
burg. This was a rather broad hint, and 1 could scarcely re- 
frain from laughing at it ; but restraining myself, and keeping 
my countenance straight, I asked, " Why do you take such 
a fancy to me, Miss E., when there are so many elegant, 
accomplished, and wealthy young men in Leesburg, with whom 
you have been acquainted for along time ? You know nothing 
whatever of me." 

*' It won't be hard for us to become better acquainted," she 

'' Well," said I, " I don't want to deceive you ; but the fact 
is, I am as good as married already ; " and producing a young 
lady's photograph, which I had in my pocket, added, '* I ex- 
pect to be married to this lady as soon as the war is over." 

An Embarrassing Situation. 

She turned pale at this, and the tears sprang to her eyes, 
while I could not but feel regret at having permitted the 
matter to go thus far. For a time neither of us spoke ; and at 
length, to put an end lo a scene that was becoming embar- 
rassing to both of us, I arose, and, extending my hand, said 
that 1 must bid her good evening. 

She looked at me in a pitiable sort of way, and said, " Will 
I never see you again ? " 

I answered that she might, if I was not killed, but a battle 
was expected shortly, and it was my intention to take part in 
it. I then said adieu, and precipitately left her, not feeling 
altogether comfortable about the affair; but judging, as a. 
woman, that the young lady would, before a great while, find 
herself heart-whole, and be none the worse for having per- 


mitted herself to become unduly interested in Lieutenant 
Harry T. Buford. 

So ended my Leesburg flirtation; and a desire to avoid 
meeting Miss E. again, at least until she had had time to 
recover her equanimity, as well as my eager wish to see some 
more fighting, induced me to leave the town as soon as 



An Appetite for Fightins:. — The Sensations of the Battle-Field. — My 
Second Battle. — The Conflict at Ball's Bluff. — My Arrival at General 
Evans's Headquarters. — Meeting an old Acquaintance. — Hospital- 
ities of the Camp. — The Morning of the Battle. — Commencement of 
the Fight. — A fierce Struggle. — In Charge of a Company. — A sus- 
picious Story. — Bob figures as a Combatant. — Rout of the Enemy. 

— The Federals driven over the Bluff into the River. — I capture 
some Prisoners. — A heart-rending Spectacle. — Escape of Colonel 
Devens, of the Fifteenth Massachusetts Regiment, by swimming across 
the River. — Sinking of the Boats with the wounded Federals in them. 

— Night, and the End of the Battle. 

T might be supposed that one battle would have 
been enough for me, and that after having seen, 
as at Bull Run, the carnage incident to a desper- 
ate conflict between thousands of infuriated 
combatants, I should have been glad to have 
abandoned a soldier's career, and to have devoted 
myself to the service of the Confederacy in some other 
capacity than that of a fighter. Indeed, it so turned 
out, that the most efficient services I did perform in 
behalf of the cause which I espoused, were other than 
those of a strictly military character, although quite as 
important as any rendered by the bravest fighters when 
standing face to face to the enemy. But it was, in a measure, 
due to necessity rather than to original choice, tliat I under- 
took work of a different kind from that which I had in my 
mind when first donning my uniform. We are all of us, more 
or less, the creatures of circumstances ; and when I saw that 
the fact of my being a woman would enable me to play an- 
other role from that which I had at first intended, I did not 
hesitate, but readily accepted what Fate had to offer. 

The battle of Bull Run, however, only quickened my ardor 
to participate in another affair of a similar kind, and the 
months of enforced inaction, which succeeded that battle, had 



tlie effect of making me long, with exceeding eagerness, to 
experience again the excitement which thrilled me on the 
sultry July day, when the army of the Confederacy won its 
first great victory. The sensations which, on the battle-field, 
overcome a soldier who knows nothing of fear, can only be 
compared to those of a gambler who is playing for enormous 
stakes. The more noble origin of the emotions experienced 
in the one case over those excited by the other does -not pre- 
vent them from being essentially similar, although the gam- 
bler, who is staking his all on the turn of a card, can know little 
or nothing of the glorious excitement of the soldier engaged 
in a deadly conflict with an enemy, and feeling that its issue 
depends upon his putting forth his utmost exertions, and that 
determined valor can alone secure him the victory. 

The Pleasures of Fighting. 

The sensations of a soldier in the thick of a fight baffie de- 
scription ; and, as his hopes rise or sink with the ebb and flow 
of the battle, as he sees comrades falling about him dead and 
wounded, hears the sharp hiss of the bullets, the shrieking of 
the shells, the yells of the soldiers on each side as they smite 
each other, there is a positive enjoyment in the deadly perils 
of the occasion that nothing can equal. 

At Bull Run, it so happened that I was placed where the 
fight was hottest, where the enemy made his most determined 
attacks, where the soldiers of the South made their most des- 
perate resistance, and where, for hours, the fate of the battle 
trembled in the balance. When at length victory crowned 
our banners, the enemy fled from the field, and we saw no 
more of them, and desperate as was the fight, it was, notwith- 
standing the great number of killed and wounded, unattended 
with the peculiar horrors, the mere thought of which is calcu- 
lated to send a shudder through the strongest nerves. 

The second battle in which I participated ^— that at Ball's 
Bluff — was accompanied by every circumstance of horror; 
and although in the excitement of the moment, when every 
faculty of mind and body was at extreme tension, and I was 
only inspired with an intense eagerness to do my whole duty 
for my cause, I did not fully realize the enormities of such a 
slaughter as was involved in the defeat of the Federals at that 
place, 1 have never been able to think of it without a shud- 
der, notwithstanding that I have fought on more than one 

IN CAMP. 117 

bloody field since. Such scenes, however, are inseparable 
from warfare, and those who take up arms must steel them- 
selves against them. 

In the Field once more. 

It was the 10th of October, 1861, when I left Leesburg and 
went to the headquarters of General Evans, where I met quite 
a number of acquaintances, and was received with great cor- 
diality by them. A young officer of the eighteenth Mississippi 
regiment invited me to take up my quarters with him ; Ijut 
as I had all my camp equipage with me, I preferred setting 
up my own tent. Seeking General Evans, I showed him my 
papers, and asked to be employed. He accordingly sent me 
to Colonel Burt, of the eighth Virginia regiment, who, how- 
ever, told me that as he had no vacancy in his command, he 
could do nothing for me. I had no other resource now but to 
await events, and see what should turn up in my favor, feeling 
a little disappointed at not being able to become attached 
definitely to some command, but with ample confidence in my 
own ability to take care of myself, and to find some means of 
having a hand in the expected battle, whenever it came off. 

A Friend of my Youth. 

At Hunton's headquarters, I had the pleasure of meeting 
Colonel Featherstone, of tlie seventeenth Mississippi regi- 
ment. This fine officer I had known when I was quite a small 
child, and I was decidedly amused at the idea of renewing my 
acquaintance with him under existing circumstances. He 
had not the shadow of an idea that the dashing little lieutenant 
who stood before him was a woman whom he had known as a 
child. He, however, took a very polite interest in me, and 
asked where I was from, and a variety of other questions, 
which I had to draw rather extensively upon my imagination to 
answer in proper style. I told him that I belonged to Missis- 
sippi, and a good deal more of the same kind of fiction, which, 
if not quite as interesting as the truth would have been, was 
sufficiently satisfying for the moment. 

After we had chatted a little while. Colonel Featherstone 
invited me over to his tent, and handing out a bottle of whis- 
key, told me to help myself. 

•'* No, thank you, colonel," I said ; " I never drink anything 


strong ; it does not agree with me, and I accordingly make it 
a rule not to touch it." 

He did not urge me when he noticed that I was very positive 
in declining ; but pouring out a sizable one for himself, said, 
" Well, a drink of the right kind of liquor, now and then, is a 
pretty good thing, I think. Here's my regards:" — and, 
nodding towards me, he swallowed it at a gulp, without wink- 
ing an eye. 

He then said, "Lieutenant, you can turn in here if you 
wish, if you have not been assigned to quarters. You are 
welcome to all I have, and can make yourself at home." 

I thanked him, and said that there was, fortunately, no neces- 
sity for trespassing on his hospitality. Whereupon he said, 
" If you won't stop with me, come in and see me often. I will 
be glad to talk to you." 

Thanking him again for his kindness, I said good-night, and 
went over to my own tent, where I found Bob sound asleep. 
Arousing him, I ordered him to be up by three o'clock in the 
morning, and to cook plenty of provisions, as we expected 
something to happen. The darkey knew very well that I 
meant a fight was probably coming off soon ; but by this time 
he had tolerably Avell gotten over his first scare, and was be- 
ginning to find enjoyment in the excitements of Avarfare, as 
well as myself. He grinned, and promised compliance with 
my order, and I lay down to sleep, convinced from Avhat I had 
heard during the evening, that my desire to participate in an- 
other battle was likely to be gratified very soon. 

The Battle op Ball's Bluff. 

The next morning, October 22, I was up, and ready for 
whatever might happen, at an early hour. Having learned 
that a large force of the enemy, belonging to the command of 
Colonel Baker, had succeeded in crossing at Edwards' Ferry, 
and had gained the Blufts, prompt preparations were made to 
give them a warm reception. 

The brigade under the command of General Evans consisted 
of four regiments, — the eighth Virginia, and the thirteenth, 
seventeenth, and eighteenth Mississippi, which were respec- 
tively commanded by Colonels Hunton, Burt, Featherstone, 
and Barksdale. The first brunt of the fight was borne by 
Lieutenant Colonel Janifer, who, with five companies, was 
covering the approach to Leesburg, 


About twelve o'clock, the eighth Virginia regiment ad- 
vanced to Janifer's assistance, and this, I saw, was my chance 
if I wished to participate in the battle. My darkey had his 
fighting blood up too, and was, apparently, as anxious as I 
Avas to have a crack at the enemy ; for, he said, " Give me a 
gun, Mas' Harry. I want to shoot, too." 

•' You'll have a chance to do some fighting pretty soon. Bob, 
if I am not mistaken," said T, as we pushed forward as fast as 
we could in the direction of the firing, Avhich became more 
rapid every moment. 

Immediately on top of the Bluff, where the enemy had suc- 
ceeded in effecting a landing, and for some distance back, 
there was a tolerably open piece of ground, cut up somewhat 
by ridges and hollows, and surrounded by a thick growth of 
woods. This timber for a while concealed the combatants from 
each other, and it was impossible for us to tell what force we 
were contending with. The woods seemed to be alive with 
combatants, and it was thought that the enemy was strongly 
fortified. Notwithstanding the uncertainties with regard to 
the number of our opponents, we attacked with spirit, and for 
a time the fight was bravely carried on by both armies. The 
enemy certainly fought exceedingly well, especially consider- 
ing the precariousness of their position, although, of course, we 
did not know at the time the attack was made that our foes 
were in such a desperate predicament. 

Colonel Burt, with his eighteenth Mississippi regiment, ad- 
vanced to the attack on the left of our line, while Janifer and 
the Virginians held the centre. Burt's Mississippians were 
compelled to undergo a most terrific fire from the enemy, who 
were concealed in the hollows, but they succeeded in holding 
them in check, although they suffered severely, and Colonel 
Burt himself was numbered among the slain before the victory 
was won. 

The Fight at its hottest. 

At three o'clock, Colonel Featherstone came up with his 
regiment, and advanced at a double-quick to the assistance of 
Burt. The firing now became general all along the line, and 
the men on both sides seemed to be disposed to fight with the 
utmost fury. I thought the struggle at Bull Run a desperate 
one, but that battle at its fiercest did not begin to equal this ; 
and when finally we did succeed in routing the enemy, I ex- 
perienced a sense of satisfaction and relief that was over- 


whelming. For three weary hours the figliting continued 
without intermission ; and although for a long while the result 
was dubious, at length, as the chilly October day was about 
closing, the enemy having lost a great number of men and 
officers, including Colonel Baker, and being hemmed in on 
three sides, Avere driven in confusion into the river. 

Shortly after the fight commenced, I took charge of a com- 
pany which had lost all its officers, and I do not think that 
either my men or myself failed to do our full duty. Perhaps, 
if I had been compelled to manoeuvre my command in the 
open field, I might not have done it as skilfully as some 
others would, although I believe that I could have played the 
part of a captain quite as well as a good many of them who 
hehl regular commissions as commanders of companies, and a 
good deal better than some others who aspired to be officers 
before learning the first rudiments of their business, and with- 
out having the pluck to conduct themselves before the enemy 
in a manner at all correspondent to their braggart style of 
behavior when not smelling gunpowder under compulsion. 
In this battle, however, fighting as Ave were for the most part 
in the Avoods, there Avas little or no manoeuvring to be done, 
and my main duties Avere to keep the men together, and to set 
them an example. This latter I certainly did. 

After the battle was over, the first lieutenant of the com- 
pany Avhich I Avas commanding came in and relieved me, 
stating that he had been taken prisoner, but had succeeded in 
making his escape in the confusion incident to the Federal 
defeat. I did not say anything, but had my very serious 
doubts as to the story Avhich he told being the exact truth. 
He had a very sheepish look, as if he Avas ashamed of himself 
for playing a sneaking, coAvardly trick; and I shall always be- 
lieve that when the firing commenced, he found an oppor- 
tunity to slink aAvay to the rear for the purpose of getting out 
of the reach of danger. 

I have seen a good many officers like this one, AAdio Avere 
brave enough Avhen strutting about in the streets of cities and 
villages, shoAving themselves off in their uniforms to the 
women, or wlicn airing their authority in camp, by bullying the 
soldiers under them, but Avho Avere the most arrant coAvards 
under fire, and Avho ought to have been court-marshalled and 
shot, instead of being permitted to disgrace their uniforms, 
and to demoralize their men, by their dastardly behavior Avhen 
in the face of the enemy. My colored boy Bob Avas a better 


soldier than some of the wliite men who thought themselves 
immensely his superiors ; and having possessed himself of a 
gun, he fought as well as he knew how, like the rest of us. 
When the enemy gave way, I could hear Bob yelling vocifer- 
ously ; and I confess that I was proud of the darkey's pluck 
and enthusiasm. 

The Enemy put to Flight. 

The daylight was beginning to fail, when, at length, the 
enemy broke, and ran- towards the river, a confused mob of 
fugitives, instead of an organized and disciplined army. I 
was so wearied that I could scarcely stand. But at this mo- 
ment I would rather have died than have faltered. All my 
Southern blood was stirred in my veins, and however little my 
help might be, I was resolved to give it to complete the 

The yells of triumph that broke from our boys, as they saw 
their foes flying before them, were terrific ; and they rushed 
after them, pursuing them through the woods, and over the 
open ground, to the very edge of the Bluff. General Evans 
gave orders to drive them into the river, or to capture them ; 
and every officer and man seemed animated by a determina- 
tion to make the defeat of the enemy as signal as possible. 
I advanced my company, in compliance with Evans's orders, 
until we neared the river, when I called a halt ; saying, as I 
did so, to the boys, " This is warm work, but they are badly 
whipped, I think." 

Looking under me into a little ravine, I espied a Yankee 
sergeant reaching for a musket, evidently with the intention 
of treating me to its contents. Levelling a pistol at him, I 
cried out, " No, you don't ! Drop that, and come up here, you 
scoundrel ! " 

He obeyed in very short order ; and when he had reached 
me, I said, " What do you mean by that ? If it wasn't for 
having the name of murdering a prisoner, I would shoot 

He answered, sullenly, " I don't care a d — n whether you 
do or not ; " and I don't believe that he did care much, just 
then, for he evidently felt badly at having been defeated. 

While talking with this prisoner, a number of other fugitives 
were discovered hid in the guUeys, whom I immediately cap- 


"To what command do you belong?*' I asked. 

They told me that they belonged to the fifteenth Massachu- 
setts regiment, but that the army was under the command of 
General Stone. 

Horrible Incidents. 

At the point where I stood the Potomac River was very 
wide, and it presented a sight such as I prayed that I might 
never behold again. The enemy were literally driven down 
the Bluff, and into the river, and crowds of them were floun- 
dering in the water, and grappling v/ith death. This horrible 
spectacle made me shudder; for, although they were my foes, 
they were human beings, and my heart must have been hard, 
indeed, could it not have felt for their sufferings. I was 
willing to fight them to death's door in the open field, and to 
ask no favors, taking the same chances for life as they had ; 
but I had no heart for their ruthless slaughter. AH the 
woman in me revolted at the fiendish delight which some of 
our soldiers displayed at the sight of the terrible agony en- 
dured by those who had, but a short time before, been con- 
testing the field with them so valiantly, and I could scarcely 
refrain from making some decisive effort to put a stop to the 
carnage, and to relieve my suffering foes. For the first time 
since putting on my uniform I was thrown off my guard, and 
should certainly have done sometliing to betray my secret liad 
I not fortunately restrained myself in time. Such scenes as 
these, however, are inseparable from warfare, and they must 
be endured by those who adopt a soldier's career. The piti- 
able spectacles which followed our brillant victory at Ball's 
Bluff, however, had the effect of satisfying my appetite for 
fighting for a time ; and after it was all over, I was by no means 
as anxious for another battle, as I had been after the victory 
at Bull Run. 

I have not the ability to give a minute description of the 
horrid incidents attending the rout of the Federals at Ball's 
Bluff, even if I had the disposition. As this battle, however, 
was an important event in my military career, and as it made a 
very painful impression upon me, some account, even if a very 
meagre one, of one of the most striking features of the affair, 
seems to be necessary in order to make my narrative com- 

When the enemy broke before the galling fire which we 
poured into them, they stampeded for the river, a disordered 


and panic-stricken crowd. Over the Bluff the}'- went, pell- 
mell, leaping, rolling, and tumbling, more like a herd of fright- 
ened buffalo fleeing from the savages of the plains, than hu- 
man beings, hundreds being shot down while attempting to 
cross, and hundreds of others being captured before they could 
gain the river. I was sick Avith horror ; and as the cold shiv- 
ers ran through me, and my heart stood still in my bosom, I 
shut my eyes for a moment, wishing that it was all over, but 
only to open them again to gaze on a spectacle that had a 
terrible fascination for me, in spite of its horrors. 

Escape of Colonel Devens. 

Directly, one of the prisoners whom I was guarding, shouted, 
" There goes my colonel ! " 

" What is his name ? " I inquired. 

" Colonel Devens, of the fifteenth Massachusetts regiment," 
he replied, as he pointed to a figure striking out in an attempt 
to swim across the river. 

I said, " I hope the poor fellow will get safely to land, for 
he has fought bravely, and deserves a better fate than a 
watery grave." 

Colonel Devens, it appears, in the confusion got separated 
from his men, and seeing no chance of rallying them, or of 
doing anything to turn the tide of defeat, had, when all hope 
of ever effecting an orderly retreat was gone, sought to save 
himself in the desperate manner I have indicated. He was, 
apparently, a powerful swimmer, for he was soon out of mus- 
ket-shot, and I believe he managed to gain the other shore. 
He had my best wishes in the attempt at any rate, for I have 
not a cruel or vindictive nature, and at this time my womanly 
sympathies were being awakened in the liveliest manner. 

When the rout began, there was but one boat in the 
river, and this was quickly filled with a struggling mass of 
humanity, each man being intent only on making good his 
own escape from the deadly fire of the Confederates. On 
the bank, a dense crowd of fugitives were throwing away 
their ai-ms, and divesting themselves of their clothing, some 
of them, apparently, resolved to save themselves, like Colonel 
Devens, by swimming. A. large number of those who plunged 
into the river were drowned in the icy waters, and the 
shrieks of these poor fellows fairly appalled me as I heard 
them, and rang in my ears for days afterwards. 


Our men liad orders to keep up a fire from the Bluff, and 
only too many seemed to delight in the bloody work, as they 
poured volley alter volley into the fugitives. On my left, a 
Federal captain came charging up the hill at the head of his 
men, apparently not aware of the full extent of the disaster 
which had belallen his comrades. As soon, however, as he 
reached a place where he could survey the field, he saw plainly 
that it was useless to attempt further resistance, and so he 
raised a white flag, and surrendered himself and command. 

I fired my revolver at another officer — a major, I believe — 
who was in the act of jumping into the river. I saw him 
spring into the air, and fall ; and then turned my head away, 
shuddering at what I had done, although I believed that it 
was only my duty. An officer near me exclaimed, " Lieuten- 
ant, your ball took him ; " — words that sent a thrill of horror 
through me. 

The most awful episode of the day was the sinking of the 
boats containing the wounded and dying; and from this I 
turned away, sick at heart, unable to endure the sight of it. 

So ended the battle of Ball's Bluff; and the soldieY« of the 
Confederacy had won another great victory, although at a 
terrible sacrifice ; for many of our bravest officers and men 
were slain, and a great number severely wounded. I had the 
satisfaction of knowing that I had done my duty, and had 
fought as bravely as the bravest. It cost me a pang to think 
of the noble fellows who fell in defence of the cause they 
loved, and I particularly mourned the death of the gallant 
Colonel Burt. I had regrets, too, for the foemen who were so 
ruthlessly slaughtered, and would willingly have spared them 
had it been in my power to do so. There were, I think, about 
nineteen hundred men engaged at Ball's Bluff on the Con- 
federate side, and six pieces of artillery. Exactly how many 
the Federals had I do not know, but their numbers were 
certainly equal to ours, if not greater. 

When night finally closed upon the battle-field, and put an 
end to the carnage, I was completely used up by the fatigues 
and excitements of the day, and not even the terrible scenes 
which haunted me in my mind's eye, long after I had ceased 
to gaze upon them, could prevent me from dropping into a 
sound and dreamless sleep. 



Reaction after the Excitements of a Battle. — The Necessity for mental 
and bodily Occupation. — I form a new Project. — War as we imagine 
it, and as it is. — Fighting not the only Thing to be done. — The Dreams 
of Youth, and the Realities of Experience. — The Secret of Success. — 
The Difficulties which the Confederate Commanders experienced in 
obtaining Information of the Movements of the Enemy. — What a 
Woman can do that a Man cannot. — A Visit to Mrs. Tyree. — The 
only Way of keeping a Secret. — I assume the Garments of my own 
Sex again as a Disguise. — Getting across the Potomac at Night. — 
Asleep in a Wheat-Stack. — A suspicious Farmer. — A Friend in Need. 
— Maryland Hospitality. — Off for Washington. 

JF too restless and impulsive a disposition to 
\ endure patiently the prolonged inaction which 
seemed inevitable after a battle, it fretted me 
to be obliged to lounge about camp, or to par- 
ticipate in the too often most demoralizing 
amusements of the city, as I had been com- 
pelled to do for many weeks after the fight at Bull Run. 
I was disgusted, too, at the difficulties which presented 
themselves at every step whenever I attempted to 
get myself attached to a regular command, or to be 
assigned for the kind of service which I felt best quali- 
fied to perform, and which was most in accordance with my 
tastes. It was an absolute necessity for me to be in motion, 
to be doing something, and the slow and inconclusive progress 
of the military movements annoyed me beyond expression. 
The inevitable reaction, after the intense excitements of the 
battle of Ball's Bluff, caused a depression of spirits which I 
felt I must do something to shake off. The terrible sights 
and sounds of that battle haunted me night and day, for I 
could not help thinking of them, and the more I thought of 
them the more horrible they appeared. 

I determined, therefore, very shortly after the battle, to put 



into execution a project I had for some time been meditating, 
which would require the exercise of all my faculties, and 
which would give me constant employment for mind and 
body, such as the routine of camp life did not afford, and 
which would compel me to concentrate my mind on the inven- 
tion and execution of plans for the achievement of definite 
results for the cause of Southern independence. 

Before entering upon the career of a soldier, I of course 
knew » great deal about military life, having been the wife 
of an army officer, and having resided at frontier stations, but 
I had nevertheless very crude and superficial notions about 
the exigencies of warfare. My ideas, however, were no 
cruder than those of thousands of others, for it is very doubt- 
ful whether any but a few veterans understood what would 
have to be gone through with by soldiers in the field, espe- 
cially when large armies were operating against each other 
over an immense stretch of country. 

The books I had read, in which the doings of heroes and 
heroines were recorded, devoted a large space to the descrip- 
tion of battles, and these, as a matter of course, being more 
interesting and exciting than the other portions, it was only 
natural, perhaps, that the notion should become fixed in my 
mind that fighting was a soldier's chief, if not only employ- 


I was soon disillusioned on these points, and, after a very 
brief experience, discovered that actual warfare was far dif- 
ferent from what I had supposed it would be. Neither of the 
battles in which I had thus far been engaged impressed me 
at all as I had expected they would, although, in some partic- 
ulars, they were agreeable disappointments ; for there was an 
exhilaration in an actual, hotly- contested fight that far sur- 
passed anything my imagination had pictured. Battles, how- 
ever, I found were likely to be few and far between, while 
there were thousands of disagreeable incidents connected 
with military life which I had never suspected, and of which 
my husband's warnings had scarcely given me the slightest 
hint. The inaction of the camp, when one is day after day 
hoping and half expecting something startling will happen, 
only to be subjected to perpetual disappointment, and the dull 
round of camp duties, and the trivial devices adopted to kill 
time, after a very brief period become most oppressive. 


Not only did I discover that fighting was not the onl)'-, or 
the most frequent, employment of the soldier, but I soon 
awakened to the fact that, in a great war, like the one in 
which I was now taking part, it was not always the men who 
wore the uniforms and handled the muskets who performed the 
most efficient services. As there were other things besides 
fighting to do, so there must be other than soldiers to perform 
necessary portions of the work, and to aid in advancing the 
interests of the cause. 

Dreams of Delusion. 

Many of our hopes, anticipations, and aspirations are mere 
dreams of delusion, which can have no practical fulfilment in 
this working-day world, and it sometimes costs a pang to dis- 
miss forever a cherished but mistaken idea, and to weave our 
own web of romance from the parti-colored threads of com- 
monplace reality ; it is like parting with a portion of our 
own being. But, the illusion once dispelled, we are able to 
step forward more firmly and more resolutely, to act the part 
which the will of Providence assigns us to play in the great 
drama of life. 

We may regret that the dreams of our youth do not come 
true, just as we once loved to hope that they would, almost 
without endeavor on our part ; but who shall say that our 
own life romances, woven out of the tissues of events from 
day to day, with much labor, doubt, and pain, are not fairer 
and brighter than any imagination could create ? It is good 
to do one's duty quietly amid the rush of great events, even 
when the path of duty lies in hidden places, where the gaze 
of the crowd penetrates not, where applause cannot follow ; 
and one's own satisfaction at duty well and nobly performed, 
is, after all, the best recompense that can be had. 

To be a second Joan of Arc was a mere girlish fancy, which 
my very first experiences as a soldier dissipated forever; and 
it did not take me long to discover that I needed no model, 
but that, to win success in the career I had chosen, I must be 
simply myself, and not a copy, even in the remotest partic- 
ular, of anybody else ; and that the secret of success consisted 
in watching the current of events, and in taking advantage 
of circumstances as they arose. 

In a life so novel as that I was now leading, however, it 
took me some time to become sufficiently informed to be able 


to do anything effective in the wa}' of shaping my career; I was, 
of neces-sity, obliged to go ahead somewhat at random, and to 
wait and learn, not only what I could do with the best effect, 
but what there was for me to do. In assuming the garb of a 
soldier, I had no other idea than to do a soldier's duty : this 
was my ambition, and I scarcely gave thouglit to anything 
else. The experiences of actual warfare, however, soon had 
the effect of convincing me that a woman like myself, who 
had a talent for assuming disguises, and who, like me, was 
possessed of courage, resolution, and energy, backed up by a 
ready wit, a plausible address, and attractive manners, had it 
in her power to perform many services of the most vital im- 
portance, Avhich it would be impossible for a man to even 

Difficulties in Obtaining Information. 

The difficulty which our commander experienced in gaining 
accurate and tlioroughly reliable information with regard to the 
movements of the enemy, the rumors that prevailed of the enor- 
mous preparations being made by the Federal government to 
crush the South, an insatiable desire to see and to hear for 
myself what was going on within the enemy's lines, all stim- 
ulated me to make an attempt, the hazardous character of 
which I well knew ; but, trusting to my woman's wit to see 
me safely through, I resolved that the attempt should be 

My plans were tolerably well matured when the battle of 
Ball's Bluff took place, and I should probably have put them 
in execution before I did, had it not been for the insatiate 
desire I had to take part in another fight. After that battle, 
I more than ever felt the necessity for some constant, active 
employment, for I chafed under the ennui of the camp, and 
felt irresistibly impelled to be moving about and doing some- 
thing. I accordingly was not long in resolving that the time 
had now arrived for me to attempt something more than I 
had yet done, and for me to effect a coup that might either 
make or mar my fortunes, but that, whatever its result might 
be, would give me the excitement I craved, and demonstrate 
my abilities, and my disposition to serve the Confederacy in 
such a signal manner that it would be impossible for those in 
authority any longer to ignore me. 


A Woman's Advantages and Disadvantages. 

A woman labors under some disadvantages in an attempt 
to fight her own way in the world, and at the same time, from 
the mere fact that she is a Avoman, she can often do things 
that a man cannot. I have no hesitation in saying that I wish 
I had been created a man instead of a woman. This is what 
is the matter with nearly all the women who go about com- 
jDlaining of the wrongs of our sex. But, being a woman, I 
was bent on making the best of it ; and having for some time 
now figured successfully in the garments of the other sex, I 
resolved upon resuming those of my own for a season, for the 
accomplishment of a purpose I had in my mind. This pur- 
pose I felt sure I could accomplish as a woman; and although 
I had a tolerably good appreciation of the perils I should run, 
I had confidence in my abilities to see myself through, and 
the perils attending my enterprise were incentives, rather 
than otherwise, for me to attempt it. 

Having obtained a letter of introduction to General Leon- 
idas Polk, and my transportation papers, — for it was my 
intention, after making the trip I had immediately in view, to 
visit the part of the country in which his army was operating, 
as it was more familiar to me, and I thought that I could per- 
form more efficient service there than in Virginia, — I turned 
in my camp equipage to the quartermaster, and bidding fare- 
well to my friends, started off" in search of new adventures. 

Stopping in Leesburg, I went, in company with a couple of 
other officers, to pay a visit to Mrs. Tyree, a brave and true- 
hearted Virginia lady, who, with her interesting family, had 
suffered greatly through the devastation of her property by 
the enemy. We tried, by every argument we could imagine, 
to persuade her to remove to some safer locality, representing 
that the Federals, though defeated at Ball's Bluff", were likely 
to repeat the attack at any time, and to march on Leesburg 
with a large force. Our appeals were in vain, however, and 
she answered every argument, by saying, ''This is my home, 
and I will perish in it, if necessary." 1 heartily wished that 
I had a force of soldiers under my command at the moment, 
so that I could compel her to remove for her own sake and 
that of her family ; and when I said adieu to her, it was with 
the sincerest admiration for her inflexible courage and her 
devotion to the cause of the South. 

a double disguise. 131 

The Way to Keep a Secret. 

Leaving my bo}^ where he wonkl be taken care of, I stated 
to my acquaintances that I intended to make a journey, and 
that I expected to be gone about ten days, but did not tell 
any one Avhere I was going, or what my plans were. No one 
but myself had the slightest notion as to what project I had 
on foot, for I felt that success would very largely depend 
upon my secret being kept to myself, at least until I had ac- 
complished, or had tried to accomplish, what I proposed. 
What I dreaded more than any dangers I was likely to be 
exposed to was the ridicule that would probably meet me in 
case of failure, to say nothing of the probabilities in favor of 
my sex being discovered, or at least suspected. But ridicule, 
as well as danger, was what I resolved to brave when put- 
ting on male attire, and I really dreaded it less than I did my 
own heart-burnings in the event of my not winning the des- 
perate game I was playing. The way to keep a secret, as I 
had long since found out, is not to tell it to anybody ; and 
acting upon this -very excellent principle, I have generally 
succeeded in keeping my secrets — and I have, in my time, 
had some important ones — until the proper moment for re- 
vealing them came. Some people are never happy when 
possessed of a secret until they have told it to somebody 
else, of course in the strictest confidence. My experience is 
that this is a sure way to get the matter, whatever it may be, 
put into circulation as a bit of general information. 

Assuming a New Disguise. 

It was necessary, however, for me to have some assistance 
in getting my enterprise started, just as it had been for me to 
select a confidant when I first assumed the uniform of an ofii- 
cer ; and I would say here that, to the infinite honor of the 
friend whose aid I sought on that occasion, the secret of my 
transformation was as faithfully kept as if it were his own ; 
but, as the circumstances were different, a different kind of 
an agent was in this case selected. My appeal, this time, was 
to the strongest sentiments of self-interest, and even then 
my confidant was only intrusted with the knowledge of a 
change of apparel. 

Going to an old negro woman who had washed for me,,and 
who had shown considerable fondness for me, I told her that 


I intended visiting the Yankees for the purpose of seeing 
them about coming and freeing the colored folk, and asked 
her to let me have a suit of woman's clothes, so that I could 
get through the lines without being stopped. I made up 
quite a long yarn about what I proposed to do, and the poor 
old soul, believing all I told her without a moment's hesita- 
tion, consented to aid me in every way she could, her ardor 
being materially quickened by a twenty dollar Confederate 
note which I handed her. 

She was not long in having me attired in the best she had, — 
a calico dress, a woollen shawl, a sun-bonnet, and a pair of 
shoes much too large for me, — and hiding away my uniform 
where it would be safe during my absence, she started me off 
with a full expectation that I would be back in a couple of 
weeks, with the whole Yankee army at my back, for the pur- 
pose of liberating all the slaves. The old woman put such 
implicit faith in me that I really felt sorry at deceiving her, 
but quieted my conscience with the thought that lying was as 
necessary as fighting in warfare, and that the prospects were 
that I would be compelled to do much more fibbing than this 
before the errand upon which I was about starting would be 

Crossing the Potomac. 

Managing to make my way to tlie river without attracting 
any particular attention, I found an old negro who had a boat, 
and making up a story that I fancied would answer the pur- 
pose, I struck a bargain with him to take me across to the 
Maryland shore for twenty-five dollars. He was eager to get 
the money, probably never having handled so much before in 
his life at any one time, but warned me that it would be a risky 
piece of business, for the weather was very cold, the river 
broad and deep, and the current strong, and there was con- 
siderable danger of my being fired at by the pickets on either 
bank. I told him that I was not afraid to take all the risks, 
and that I thought I could stand the cold. I accordingly 
concealed myself in his cabin until the time for commencing 
the crossing arrived, neither of us deeming it prudent to start 
before midnight. 

It was after midnight before we were launched in our little 
craft on the black, swift-running water of the Potomac, and 
it was quite three hours before we reached the opposite 
shore. My old ferryman pulled lustily, but it was hard work 


for him, although the liandsome fee he was to receive when 
his task was accomplished was a decided stimulant. He 
really had tlie best of it, however, in having some work to do, 
for the night air was bitter cold, and I was thinly clad. I 
would have been glad to have taken a turn at the oars, just 
for the sake of warming myself, had I believed myself pos- 
sessed of the physical strength to wield them with efficiency. 
I was too eager to get over this unpleasant and hazardous 
part of my journey, however, to incur any delay by attempt- 
ing to pull an oar, and bore the sharp winds that swept over 
the water, and at times seemed to cut me to the bones, with 
what equanimity I could command. 

At length we reached the Maryland side of the river, to 
my infinite satisfaction, for I was numb with the cold, and 
stiff in all my limbs, from the cramped position in which I had 
been obliged to sit in the boat, and was heartily glad of an 
opportunity to tread dry land once more. Dismissing the 
boatman, and enjoining him not to say anything, I made my 
way to a farm-house which I espied a short distance from the 
place of landing, and about four o'clock in the morning, find- 
ing no better place to rest my weary limbs, I crept into a 
wheat-stack, and slept there until daylight. 

I scarcely know whether to say that I enjoyed this sort of 
thing or not. For a thinly clad woman to find no better place 
for repose during a chilly night in the latter part of October, 
after having endured the cutting blasts for three hours while 
crossing the Potomac in an open boat, was certainly hard 
lines. It is true that, for some months, I had accustomed my- 
self to tolerably rough living, but this was a trifle rougher 
than anything I had as yet experienced. As there was no 
cue but myself to applaud my heroism, this particular episode 
did not, and could not, have the same attraction that some 
even more perilous ones had ; and j^et, despite the discom- 
forts of the situation, I had a certain amount of satisfaction, 
and even of pleasure, in going through with it. My enjoy- 
ment — if I can designate my peculiar emotions by such a 
word — I can only attribute to my insatiable love for adven- 
ture ; to the same overmastering desire to do difficult, dan- 
gerous, and exciting things, and to accomplish hazardous 
enterprises, that had induced me to assume the dress of the 
other sex, and to figure as a soldier on the battle-field. 

When I crept into that wheat- stack, however, I was not in 
a mood to indulge in any philosophical reflections on the sit- 


nation, or on my own motives or feelings ; I was simply in 
search of a reasonably sheltered place where I could repose 
until morning ; and having found one, I was not long in clos- 
ing my eyes, and lapsing into temporary oblivion of the cares 
and trials of this wicked world. 

I managed to get a nap of a couple of hours' duration, 
when I was awakened by the increasing light, and by the 
noises of the farm-yard. Adjusting my clothing as well as I 
could, and shaking off the straw that clung to me, I approached 
the house, a little dubious with regard to the kind of recep- 
tion I should get, but trusting to luck to be able to obtain 
what I wanted. A man came out to meet me, and looked 
rather sullenly at me, as if he thought me a suspicious char- 
acter, whom it would be well to have cautious dealings with. 
My appearance was such that there was certainly good cause 
for his distrust. The old colored woman's calico dress, 
woollen shawl, sun-bonnet, and shoes did not come near fitting 
me, while my slumbers in the wheat-stack had not tended to 
make me a particularly attractive object. I had no difficulty 
in believing that I was a perfect fright, and was amused, 
rather than displeased, at the rather discourteous reception I 
met with. 

Plucking up courage, however, I advanced, and told him 
that I had been driven out of Virginia, and was trying to get 
back to my people in Tennessee. I did not give any hint of 
my political predilections, thinking it more prudent to find 
how he and his folk stood first. I then asked him if I could 
not go into the house and warm myself, and get some break- 
fast, as I was both cold and hungry, and I suppose must have 
looked so pitiable that he felt compelled to grant my request, 
if only for charity's sake. He accordingly invited me into 
the dining-room, and called his wife. 

When the woman came, I told a long rigmarole, taking 
pains to show that I had some money, with which I could, if 
necessary, pay for what I ate and drank. My story, I saw 
plainly, did not take very well, and the man was evidently 
afraid to say much. The woman, however, soon let out on 
the Yankees with such fiery energy that I understood at once 
how matters stood, and consequently began to feel more at my 

I now began to embellish my story with plenty of abuse of 
the Yankees, and with such details of the sufferings I had 
endured on account of my having sided with the South, that 


their sympathies ■were at once aroused, and I felt certain that 
I could easily get all the assistance from them that I wished. 
Both of them — but the man especially — were eager to know 
all about the battle. I had told them that I had just come 
from the neighborhood of Leesburg, and I accordingly gave 
them an account of the affair, dilating particularly upon the 
magnificent manner in which the Confederates had whipped 
the Yankees, and prophesying that, with a little more of this 
kind of fighting, there Avould soon be an end of the war. 

The woman now invited me to a nice, warm breakfast, 
which I enjoyed immensely, for I was desperately hungry 
after my night's adventure. During the meal I showed them 
a letter, written by myself, for use in such an emergency as 
this, which, of course, tended to confirm the story I told, and 
treated them to the style of conversation they evidently liked 
to hear. After breakfast was over, the woman, taking pity 
upon my mean attire, insisted upon dressing me in some of 
her own clothing. I was soon, therefore, in a somewhat more 
presentable condition than I had been, and, having obtained 
such information as they were able to give in regard to the 
best method of proceeding in order speedily to reach my des- 
tination, I bade them good-by, sincerely grateful for their 
kindness, and started for Washington, where I hoped to be 
able to pick up some useful bits of information, — in f\ct, to 
make what the soldiers would call, a reconnoissance in force. 



Inside the Enemy's Lines. — Arrival at the Federal Capital. — Renewing 
an Acquaintance with an old Friend. — What I found out by a judi- 
cious System of Questioning. — The Federal Plans with regard to the 
Mississippi. — An Attack on New Orleans surmised. — A Tour around 
Washington. — Visit to the War Department, and Interview with 
Secretary Cameron and General Wessells. — An Introduction to the 
President. — Impressions of Mr. Lincoln. — I succeed in finding out a 
Thing or two at the Post-Office. — Sudden Departure from Washington. 
— Return to Leesburg. — Departure for Columbus, Kentucky. 

^AVIXG once penetrated the lines of 
the enemy, there was, I knew, little 
to fear. As a Confederate soldier, I 
was figuring in a disguise which was 
likely, at any time, to get me into 
trouble of some sort, and not the 
least danger I saw was that of 
being arrested as a spy. When I 
first undertook to be a soldier, this 
was an idea that never occurred to 
me ; but a very short experience in 
actual campaigning taught me that I 
.^ Avould have to be careful to prevent 
W the fact that I was disguised from 
being found out, if for no other reason than that my loyalty to 
the Southern cause might not be suspected. I relied, how- 
ever, upon the good fighting I had done, and the other services 
I had rendered, which were proofs of the genuineness of my 
devotion, as well as the influence of my friends to get me out 
of any scrape into which I might fall through the discovery 
that I was not a man. 

Here, in the enemy's country, however, I passed for exactly 
what I was, with nobody nearer than Memphis who knew me, 
both as a man and as a woman, and I consequently felt 
perfectly secure in moving about pretty much as I chose, 



having a plausible story on the end of my tongue to tell any- 
body wlio niiglit question me. I concluded that, as it was 
most likely I would meet in Washington people wlio knew me 
as a woman, — indeed, I relied greatly upon finding some 
acquaintance through whom I could be able to obtain the 
kind of inlbrmation I desired, — that it would be safer, and in 
all respects better for me to attempt no disguise, but to figure 
as myself, and as nobody else. 

On the Road to Washington. 

The kindness of my friend, the farmer's wife, in furnishing 
me with an outfit from her own wardrobe, enabled me to make 
a presentable appearance, for, although I was by no means 
elegantly attired, my clothing was quite good enough for me 
to pass as a lady ; and Avhen I left the farm-house and started 
en route for Washington, it was with a light heart, and with 
no apprehensions of diflSculty, except, perhaps, in getting 
back safely, and of being able to resume my disguise again 
without being discovered. The prospect of having some 
trouble in these respects, however, only g-ave a zest to the 
adventure ; and as I had managed to get safely within the 
Federal lines, I had little doubt that I would be able to elude 
the Confederate pickets in returning, especially as I under- 
stood how matters were managed on the Yirginia side, and 
knew, or thought I knew, how to elude the vigilance of our 

Between my starting-point on the Maryland side and 
Washington, I saw a good many soldiers, from which I judged 
that the approaches to the Federal capital Avere strongly 
guarded, and that very efficient means were being taken to 
prevent anything like a surprise on the part of the Con- 
federates. This was the most important information I suc- 
ceeded in obtaining ; and except that I was enabled to form 
some estimates of the force that was guarding the Maryland 
side of the Potomac it was of no special value, as it was well 
understood among the Confederates that the enemy were well 
prepared to resist an attack upon Washington, and were con- 
centrating a large army in and about the city. 

There were matters better worth knowing than this that I 
hoped to discover ; and to discover them, it was necessary for 
me to go to Washington, and when there, to obtain facilities 
for conversing with people who knew what I wanted to know. 



I had a plan of procedure in my mind in which I had great 
confidence, bnt I really trusted more to circumstances than 
to any definite plan, having ample belief in my own ability to 
take advantage of anything that might turn up. While on 
the way to Washington, therefore, I judged it prudent to do as 
little talking as possible, although I kept my eyes and ears 
open for any scraps of useful knowledge that might present 

Arrival in Washington. 

On arriving in Washington, I went to Brown's Hotel, and 
having learned that an officer of the regular Federal army, 
with whom I was well acquainted, and who had been a warm 
personal friend of my late hiisbanrl, was in the city, I sent him 
a note, asking him to call on me. He came to see me very 
promptly on receiving my message, and greeting me with a 
good deal of cordiality, expressed a desire to aid me in any 
manner that lay in his power. I told him that I was just 
from New York, and making up a plausible story to account 
for my being in Washington, began to question him about the 
progress of the war. He evidently had not the slightest idea 
that I was in Washington for any otlier purpose than what he 
would have considered a perfectly legitimate one, and con- 
sequently spoke without any reserve concerning a number of 
matters about which he would certainly have kept silent had 
he suspected that I had just come from the other side of the 
Potomac, and that my object was to pick up items of informa- 
tion that would be useful to the Confederacy. 

He greatly lamented the defeat which the Federals had met 
with at Ball's Bluff, and from what he said, I judged that the 
affair was the great sensation of tie hour, and that it had 
caused much discouragement, not only in the army, but among 
all classes of people at the North. Indeed, my friend was 
decidedly blue when discussing the subject, and expressed 
himself in very energetic terms with regard to the rebels, 
little thinking that he was conversing with one who had 
played a most active part in the very thickest of the battle. 
He went on to say, however, that it was expected that the 
defeat at Ball's Bluff would be more than compensated for 
very shortly, and that in Kentucky, particularly, the Federals 
were making great preparations for an active campaign, which, 
it was hoped, would do material damage to the Confederacy. 

I succeeded, by judicious questioning, in obtaining a few 


points from him with regard to the operations of the Federal 
forces in the West ; but, although he was tolerably Avell posted 
about the general movements, he was apparently not accurately 
informed with regard to particulars. It is probable, too, that 
he might have known a good deal that he did not choose to tell, 
even to me, unsuspicious as he was about my real character. 

Something worth Knowing. 

The information of most vital moment, however, that I 
succeeded in obtaining from him Avas, that active preparations 
were being made to secure possession of the upper Mississippi, 
and that a very large fleet was being fitted out for the purpose 
of blockading the mouth of the river. I instantly surmised 
from this that an attack on New Orleans was in contemplation, 
and resolved to bend my energies, during my stay in Wash- 
ington, to the task of finding out all I could with regard 
to the actual intentions of the Federal government. I did 
succeed in obtaining ample confirmation of all my friend told 
me, and to a limited extent of my guesses. Those, however, 
who really knew, were very close-mouthed about what 
particular work was being cut out for the fleet to perform, 
and the desire seemed to be to leave the impression that it 
was to undertake blockade duty simply, and to close the mouths 
of the river to the ingress and egress of vessels. There 
were some things which I heard, however, that did not 
exactly conform to this theory, and by the time I left Wash- 
ington, I was tolerably Avell convinced that a grand blow was 
shortly to be struck, either at Mobile or New Orleans, but 
most likely at the latter city, I pumped, in a quiet way, 
everybody I met, who was at all likely to know anything ; but 
I was really afraid to push my inquiries too far, or to seem 
too inquisitive, as I did not care to be suspected as a spy and 
put under surveillance, especially as I learned that the gov- 
ernment was greatly annoyed by the presence of numbers of 
Confederate spies in Washington, and was disposed to deal 
vigorously with them if they were caught. 

This, it must be remembered, was simply a reconnoi- 
tring expedition, undertaken entirely on my own account, 
without authority from anybody ; and while I, of course, 
wanted to find out all I could, my real object was more to 
make an experiment than anything else, and I did not wish 
to spoil my chances lor future operations — for I fully 


expected to visit Washington again on similar service to this 
— by getting into trouble just then, and consequently making 
myself liable to suspicion in the future. 

After a somewhat prolonged and very pleasant conversation 
with my friend, he took his departure, promising, however, to 
call the next day, and as I was a stranger in AVashington, — 
having never visited the city before, — to take me to the 
different places of interest. This was exactly what I wanted, 
for I was desirous of being informed, as soon as possible, 
exactly where the public offices were situated, and the best 
means of obtaining access to them, and I counted greatly 
upon this obliging and very gallant gentleman unsuspectingly 
starting me on the right road for the accomplishment of the 
ends I had in view. 

He made his appearance promptly at the appointed hour 
the next morning, and took me to see the Patent Office, the 
Treasury Department, and the War Department. With this 
latter, especially, I was, as might be supposed, particularly 
interested ; and skilfully hinting to my escort an intense desire 
to know something with regard to how the operations of a 
great conflict, like the one in progress, were directed from 
headquarters, I led him up to making a proposal that he 
should introduce me to the Secretary of War. In a demure 
sort of way, I expressed myself as delighted at the honor of 
being able to meet so great a man, and so, in a few moments 
more, I was bowing, in my politest manner, to Secretary 

At the War Department. 

The secretary seemed to be busy, and evidently did 
not have much time to give to me, and my conversation with 
him scarcely amounted to more than an exchange of the most 
ordinary civilities. I made the most of my opportunities, 
however, for studying his face, and forming some estimate 
of his character. 

I cannot say that the Secretary of War impressed me very 
favorably. He was abundantly courteous in his manners, but 
there was a crafty look in his eyes, and a peculiar expression 
about his mouth, that I thought indicated a treacherous dis- 
position, and that I did not like. I concluded that Mr. 
Cameron would be a hard man to deal with, unless dealing 
were made well worth his while ; but in spite of his evident 
knowingness, and his evident confidence in his own abilities, 


I left hira, feeling tolerably sure that I could prove m3'self a 
fair match for him in case our wits were ever brought into 

I was much better pleased with General Wessells, the 
Commissary General of Prisoners, to whom I was also intro- 
duced, than I was with Secretary Cameron. He was very 
poHte, indeed, and I decided immediately that I was likely to 
make more out of him than I was out of the secretary. On 
the impulse of the moment, and just for the sake of feeling 
my ground with him, I said, in a careless sort of way, during 
our conversation, that I had a brother who was a prisoner, 
and whom I would like to see, if it could be permitted, 
notwithstanding that he was on the wrong side. General 
Wessells very politely said that I could see him if I wished ; 
whereupon 1 thanked him, and said that I would, perhaps, 
shortly avail myself of his kindness. 

The reader may be sure that while at the War Department 
I saw and heard all I could, and that I took particular pains 
to note the movements of everybody, and to observe exactly 
how things were done, so that in case I should ever be obliged 
to call there again on any special errand, I should feel 
reasonably at home, and be able to go about whatever work 
I had in hand with as little embarrassment as possible. 

A Visit to Mr. Lincoln. 

From the War Department we went to the White House, 
where my friend said he would introduce me to the President. 
I really had some dread of this interview, although I experi- 
enced a great curiosity to see Mr. Lincoln, and would not 
have willingly missed such an opportunity as this of meeting 
him. I had heard a great deal about him, of course, and 
not much that was favorable, either as regards his charac- 
ter or his personal appearance, and I considered him more 
than any one person responsible for the war. Mr. Lincoln, 
however, was an agreeable disappointment to me, as I have 
no doubt he was to many others. He was certainly a very 
homely man, but he was not what I should call an ugly man, 
for he had a pleasant, kindly face, and a pleasantly familiar 
manner, that put one at ease with him immediately. 

I did not have an opportunity to exchange a great many 
words with Mr. Lincoln, but my interview, brief as it was, 
induced me to believe, not only that he was not a bad man, 


but that he was an honest and well-meaning one, who thought 
that he was only doing his duty in attempting to conquer the 
South. He impressed me in a very different way from the 
Secretary of War ; and I left the White House, if not with a 
genuine liking for him, at least with many of my preju- 
dices dispelled, and different feelings towards him than I 
had when I entered. 

My change of sentiment with regard to Mr. Lincoln, as may 
be supposed, did not influence me in the least with regard to my 
own opinions concerning the rights and wrongs of the contest 
between the North and the South, nor did I allow it to inter- 
fere in any way with the carrying out of my plans. I was 
simply trying to do my duty, just as I suppose he was trying 
to do his, as he understood it ; and I was, equally with him, 
determined to aid, by every means in my power, the particular 
side I advocated. 

After leaving the White House, we visited the Capitol, and 
listened to the debates in Congress for a while ; but as the 
subjects which the senators and representatives happened to 
be discussing at the moment M^ere of no particular interest to 
me, 1 had more pleasure in looking about the really noble 
building than I had in hearing them talk. 

Our next visit was made to the Post Office, where my friend 
had some business to transact. Here I succeeded in finding 
out a number of things I wanted to know, and obtained some 
really important information, simply by listening to the con- 
versation I heard going on around me, which is a demonstra- 
tion of the necessity for people who do not want their secrets 
discovered by the very ones whom it is desirable should not 
discover them, not to do too much loud talking before total 
strangers. I was really annoyed at some of the conversation 
I heard between government officials while at the Post 
Office, and wondered how the Federal authorities ever 
expected to prevent the Confederates from finding out their 
plans if this kind of thing was going on all the time. 

My tour around Washington, and especially my visit to the 
War and Post Office Departments, convinced me, not only that 
Washington would be a first-rate place for me to operate in, 
if I could obtain a definite attachment to the detective corps, 
but that I had the abilities to become a good detective, and 
would, in a very sliort time, be able to put the Confederate 
authorities in possession of information of the first value with 
regard to the present and prospective movements of the enemy. 


Having fulfilled my errand, and accomplished all that I liad 
expected when starting out on this trip, I left Washington as 
suddenly as I had entered it, giving my friend to understand 
that I was going to New York. I had as little trouble in 
getting back to Leesburg as I had in getting away from it, 
and put in an appearance at the house of the old colored 
woman, who had my uniform hid away for me, within thirteen 
days from the time I left it. 

In Uniform again. 

Attiring myself once more in the garb of a Confederate 
officer, I returned the old woman her calico dress, shawl, sun- 
bonnet, and shoes, and in response to her eager inquiries, told 
her a good deal of nonsense about the Yankees being on their 
way to free the colored people, and made her believe that 
they would soon be along. My other suit of female clothing 
I took up to the hotel with me, and told my boy Bob, who 
seemed to be very curious about them, that I had bought 
them for my girl. Bob seemed to be delighted to see me 
again, as he had been apprehensive, from my long absence, 
that something had happened, and that I might never return. 
He was most anxious to know where I had been ; but I put a 
short stop to his questionings on that topic, by giving him 
orders to have everything ready for an early start on a long 
journey in the morning. The next day we were en route 
for Columbus, Tennessee, where I expected to find General 
Polk, under whom I was now desirous of serving. 

Like hundreds of others, I had gone to Virginia with the 
opening of summer, inspired by high hopes and great expec- 
tations. These hopes and expectations were far from being 
realized, although I had succeeded in gratifying some of the 
most ardent desires that had animated me in setting out, for I 
had gone through with a number of perilous adventures, such 
as would have certainly satisfied the ambition of most women. 
Notwithstanding, however, that the Confederates had won the 
filrst great victory, it became apparent, at an early day, 
that a single battle was not going to finish the war, and that 
if the South was to achieve its independence, it must go 
through a long and bloody conflict. My visit to Washington 
more than confirmed the opinion I had formed, that the 
Federals were in command of enormous resources in compari- 
son with ours, and that they were settling down to a deadly 

Gettysburg, Pa. 
, - LICRAHY - 


determination to bring all their resources to bear for the 
purpose of fighting the thing out to the bitter end. When I 
took the back track, therefore, nearly six months from the 
time of starting out, and when the chill winds of winter were 
beginning to make their severity felt by the poor soldiers, I 
was prepared for a long and desperate war, which would be a 
very different thing from the holiday affair which my Arkan- 
sas recruits, in common with many others, had expected. I 
was as resolute as ever in my determination to see the thing 
out, however, and I experienced even a certain amount of 
pleasure in the certainty that a prolonged struggle would 
afford me abundant opportunities for exciting and perilous 
adventures. There was not a man in the Confederacy who 
was more willing to fight to the last than I was, or who was 
willing to venture into greater peril for the sake of the cause ; 
and, perhaps, if all the men had been as eager to find the last 
ditch as myself, before giving up, the war might have had a 
different termination. 

This is something, however, about which it is scarcely 
worth while to speculate now. It is enough to say, that I 
left Virginia in a different mood from that in which I had 
entered it. Experience had opened my eyes to a good many 
things I did not clearly understand before, but although in 
some particulars I was disappointed, I was certainly not 
discouraged ; and my head was as full of ideas, and of much 
better arranged, and more practical plans, than it was when I 
resolved to become a soldier. I now knew tolerably well 
what I could do, and the particular kind of work I could do 
best, and I was as enthusiastic as ever, although, perhaps, in 
a more sober fashion, to give the cause the benefit of my best 



At Mempliis again. — Ending my first Campaign, — My Friend the Cap- 
tain and I exchange Notes. — I reach Columbus and report to General 
Leonidas Polk. — Assigned to Duty as Military Conductor. — Unavailing 
Blandishments of the Women. — A mean Piece of Malice. — General 
Lucius M. Polk tries to play a trick on me. — The Path of Duty. — The 
General put under Arrest. — An Explanation concerning a one-sided 
Joke. — I become dissatisfied, and tender my Resignation. — A Request 
to return to Virginia and enter the Secret Service. —Acceptance of my 
Resi.£:nation. — The Lull before the Storm. 

V, FEW days of hard travel, and I was back at 
my starting-point, Memphis, having made the 
circuit of the entire Confederacy east of the 
Mississippi. I was Aviser by a good deal of val- 
uable practical knowledge than I was when 
I set out on my Arkansas recruiting expedition, and I 
had passed through scenes that made it seem years, in- 
stead of a few short months, since I had made my first 
important attempt at practising essentially character-- 
istic masculine manners with the damsel in yellow caMco 
down there at Hurlburt Station. The mere school-girl ro- 
mance had been pretty well knocked out of me by the rough, 
experiences of actual warfare. I thought very little just 
then about Joan of Arc, or indeed, about any of the dead and 
gone heroes aiM heroines ; but my mind was considerably 
occupied with my own fortunes, and with those of the cause 
to which I had pledged myself 

My experiences — I do not allude to the mere hardships of a 
soldier's life — had not all been of the most pleasurable kind. 
I had learned much concerning some of the very weak points 
of human nature ; that all men are not heroes who wish to be 
considered as such ; that self-seeking was more common than 
patriotism ; that mere courage sufficient to face the enemy in 
battle is not a very rare quality, and is frequently, associated 
with meanness of spirit; that it is easier to meet, the enemy 
10 145. 


bravely in battle, than it is to exercise one's brains so as to 
meet him most effectively ; that great names are not always 
worthily borne by great men, and that a spirit of petty jeal- 
ousy is even more prevalent in a camp than it is in a girl's 
boarding-school. These and a good many other things worth 
knowing, even if the knowledge was not of the most agreeable 
kind, 1 had picked up, as well as much information of a dif- 
ferent sort, that qualified me to make a second start as some- 
thing better than an apprentice in the art of war. 

Notwithstanding many unpleasant things connected with 
this, my first campaign, however, I had certainly enjoyed 
myself immensely, after a certain fashion ; for, to have taken 
part in two such battles as that at Bull Run and that at Ball's 
Bluff, and to have satisfactorily attempted a trip to Washing- 
ton for the sake of finding out what they were doing in the 
Federal capital, were experiences that more than counterbal- 
anced some which I could not reflect upon with equal com- 
placency. If I returned to Memphis a disappointed woman in 
certain particulars, I also returned a hopeful one, for I knew 
better now how to go about the work 1 had in hand ; and as 
it was evident that some of the hardest fighting of the war 
was to be done in this region, I confidently expected to have 
abundant opportunity to distinguish myself, both as a soldier 
and as a scout, and had scarcely a doubt of being employed in 
such services as I was best qualified to perform. 

Ready to make another Start. 

Behold me, then, back in Memphis, ready to commence 
a second campaign, inspired by a different kind of enthusiasm 
from that which moved me when I shocked my husband and 
the friend whom 1 persuaded to assist me in^my enterprise, 
by my determination to be a soldier, but even more firmly 
resolved to do my full share of the fighting, and to give the 
_ Confederate cause the benefit of all my energy, wit, and 

The friend of whom I have spoken I still found in Memphis. 
He was now captain in the Confederate service, and on my 
meeting with him he seemed both rejoiced and surprised to 
see me again. We did not have much of an opportunity to 
talk matters over, as I was anxious to get to Columbus as soon 
as possible, but I contrived to find time to relate briefly some 
of my adventures, and he appeared to be intensely interested 


in my recital. It astonished him somewhat to find that what 
I had seen of warfare had not disgusted me with it, and that 
I was bent upon being a sohlier so long as there was any- 
fighting to do ; but this time, however, he made no attempt to 
dissuade me from my purpose, being perfectly well convinced 
of my ability to take care of myself. Wishing each other good 
luck, we parted again, and I took the first boat for Columbus, 
where I expected to find General Leonidas Polk. 

On landing at Columbus, I gave my equipage and the two 
horses I had bought at Memphis, in charge of Bob, with direc- 
tions to keep a sharp eye on them, and went to Barnes' Hotel, 
to see if I could come across anybody I knew, and to make 
the inquiries necessary for my next movement. 

Columbus was one of the liveliest places I had ever visited, 
or at least it seemed so that evening. There was an immense 
amount of bustle and confusion, and everything seemed to 
indicate that the campaign in this region was being pushed 
with considerable energy ; although, as I had found out before, 
noise and activity in and about headquarters do not always 
mean remarkable energy in the field ; for an obstinate enemy, 
bent on doing some hard fighting, takes a good deal of the 
nonsense out of mere cabinet generalship. Soon after supper 
I got my tent up, and the next morning I went in search of 
the general for the purpose of presenting my letter. 


General Polk, who had been a bishop before the war broke 
out, received me cordially enough, although he seemed to be 
too busy to do much talking, and after reading my letter, 
dismissed me with the rather indefinite observation that he 
would see what he could do for me. This might mean any- 
thing or nothing ; but as I had no other resource than to wait 
and see what conclusion he would come to with regard to me, 
I made my bow and retired, determined to be as patient as 
my impatient disposition would let me. 

While waiting for the general to assign me to duty I visited 
the different camps, made a number of acquaintances, and 
picked up what information I could about the military situa- 
tion in the West. Everybody was expecting hard fighting, 
and a desperate struggle with the Federals for the possession 
of the Mississippi, as it seemed to be well understood that the 
enemy were making great preparations for some heavy work 


on this river. It was thought, however, that the defences 
were sufficiently strong to resist any attacks, and the idea 
that an attempt would ere a great while be made against New 
Orleans by way of the Gulf of Mexico, was scarcely enter- 
tained seriously by any one. I thought differentl}' ; but then 
I had special reasons for my own opinions, which I did not 
consider it necessary to communicate to all of my new-made 
friends, deeming it prudent to keep quiet about my visit to 
Washington, although ready enough to tell all I knew con- 
cerning the military situation in Virginia in exchange for 
what I learned from them about the condition of things in the 

The third day after my arrival at Columbus, General Polk 
sent for me, and told me that he had assigned me to the detec- 
tive corps. I was considerably elated at this, as I supposed 
that he intended to employ me in running through the lines as 
a spy. I had taken a great fancy to this kind of service, and 
felt myself especially well qualified for it. I wanted some- 
thing to do that would keep me constantly employed, and 
especially that would require me to give my whole mind to 
whatever task I had in hand. There was an element of posi- 
tive peril in scout duty that had a wonderful fascination for 
me, and that I felt Avould give me a keen enjoyment, such as 
lounging around a camp, with only the disagreeable routine 
of campaigning, broken by an occasional battle, could never 


I was not particularly well pleased, therefore, when I found 
that I was to run on the cars as military conductor. This, 
however, was active duty of a specific kind, and I thought 
that perhaps it might lead to something better, or might even 
offer me opportunities for distinguishing myself that 1 did not 
suspect. I took it, therefore, without complaining, resolved 
to do my best while on duty, and to resign the position, and 
go elsewhere for employment, so soon as I found the service 
getting too uncongenial. I accordingly went, under orders 
from General Polk, to Camp Beauregard, where I was directed 
to relieve Captain Jannett, on the Nashville road. 

It was while acting in the capacity of military conductor on 
this road that some of the most amusing incidents of my 
career occurred, or, at least, incidents that Avere amusing 
enough to me at the time, although I presume that they would 


seem stupid enough on repetition ; for many of the events of 
our Hves that cause the heartiest hiughter, depend so much on 
the surroundings and accessories, that it is difficult to raise 
even a smile at them when narrated. Nearly every da}^, 
however, little controversies would occur between myself and 
ladies who tried to beguile me with their smiles, little sus- 
pecting how well fortified I was against their fascinating arts ; 
and I often laughed heartily to myself at noting the nice fem- 
inine wiles that were brought to bear to beguile me from the 
strict line of my duty. I am afraid that, had I been a man, 
some of these wiles would have been successfid ; but as, in 
spite of my garments, I was compelled to view the arts of my 
feminine passengers, and would-be passengers, from a feminine 
standpoint, I am scarcely able to doubt that the military con- 
ductorship on this particular line was run on more rigidly 
virtuous principles, during my term of service, than before or 

My duty was to run on the trains and examine passes, fur- 
loughs, and leaves of absence ; and as I could place any one 
under azTest who was not travelling with the right kind of 
papers, or who was unprovided with papers of any kind, I was 
a personage of considerable importance, not only to the officers 
and soldiers who were going back and forth, but to the ladies, 
who courted me with remarkable assiduity, with a view of 
inducing me to grant them favors. The women folk tor- 
mented me a good deal more than the men did, for the average 
masculine had a wholesome dread of the rigors of military 
discipline, and was consequently manageable, while my own 
sex relied on accomplishing, by means of their fascinations, 
what was impossible to the men. They would make all kinds 
of excuses, and tell all kinds of improbable stories, to induce 
me to pass them ; but as I put a stop to all that kind of non- 
sense at the very start, and made up my mind to do business 
on strictly military principles, I soon became anything but 
popular. Occasionally some of my would-be charmers, finding 
it impossible to make any impression on me, would abuse me 
roundly for refusing to grant their request. This, of course, 
did not have any other effect than to afford me much amuse- 
ment ; but it enabled me to understand why my predecessor 
seemed so well pleased at being relieved, although I have 
doubts as to whether he was as strict in enforcing the regu- 
lations as myself Indeed, I have excellent reasons for be- 
lieving that he was not at all strict. 


While the women, as a rule, gave me the most trouble, there 
were a good many hard customers among the men, with whom 
it was not easy to have pleasant dealings. Merely obstrep- 
erous fellows, however, I could generally manage by letting 
them see that I was dead in earnest ; but there were plenty 
of officers who were willing to violate orders, and then 
put the blame, in case there should be any trouble, on my 
shoulders, and who took it as a personal grievance that I 
would not let them travel without the proper papers. One 
malicious scoundrel, because I would not permit him to travel 
without a pass, trumped up a -most scandalous false charge 
against me, to General Lucius M. Pplk, who undertook to look 
into the matter himself. 

Following the Path op Duty. 

I did not know or suspect of anything being wrong ; and 
had I been other than resolutely bent upon doing my whole 
duty, at all hazards, I should probably have fallen into the trap 
so cunningly laid for me on this occasion. I had seen enough 
of military life, however, to know that the only safe course 
for a soldier is to obey orders, no matter who suffers ; and, as 
my orders were to pass no one unprovided with the right kind 
of papers, I was resolved to carry them out to the letter, 
under all circumstances, without regard to consequences. 

General Polk, bent upon knowing how I was making out as 
military conductor, and whether I was entirely trustworthy, — 
it having been reported to him, by the scamp referred to, that 
I was not, — stepped aboard the train with a ten days' leave 
of absence in his pocket. He probably thought that I was as 
good as detected in neglecting my duty, but he found out his 
mistake before he got through ; and if he had not taken the 
precaution to provide himself with the proper official docu- 
ments before starting, the ending of the adventure would have 
been anything but a merry one for him, for I should certainly 
have arrested him. 

A Game of Bluff. 

On entering the car, I sang out, as usual, " Show your 
passes, gentlemen." 

The general turned his head, and commenced looking out 
of the window rather intently, as travellers not provided with 
passes were very much in the habit of doing. When I reached 



him, in going through the car, I gently tapped liis shoulder, 
and said, " Have you a pass?" 

" No," said he. " Won't you let me go through without 
one ? " 

" No sir," I replied ; " I cannot pass any one. My orders are 
very strict, especially with regard to officers and soldiers." 

"Weil," said he, " don't you think you could go back on 
your orders for once ? Did you never favor a friend in this 

" Sir," I answered, rather severely, " I know no friends in 
connection with my duty, or general orders." 

" Well, what are you going to do in my case ; for 1 haven't 
got any pass," said the general. 

I replied, " I will send you back to headquarters, under 

'' But," said he, " do you know, sir, that I am General 
Polk?" putting on all the maguiiicent style he could com- 
mand as he spoke. 

I was considerably nettled, both by his conduct in endeav- 
oring to persuade me to pass him in violation of orders and 
by his manner, and so said, rather sharply, '* I don't care, sir, 
who you are ; you can't travel on this line without a pass, 
even if you are Jeff Davis himself." 

I was, by this time, rather angry, and determined to have 
no further controversy with him ; so I called a soldier to take 
charge of him, while I finished going through the train. 

The conductor, who had seen the whole performance, and 
who was afraid that I was getting myself into serious trouble, 
strongly advised me to release the general, and to pass him 
through as he desired. I told him, however, that I under- 
stood my duty perfectly, and that I intended to perform it to 
the letter, in this as in every other instance ; and that if Gen- 
eral Polk didn't know better than to undertake to travel with- 
out his papers, he would have to bear the consequences. 

When we were nearing the station. General Polk beckoned 
to me, and said, " I have a leave of absence." 

I held out my hand, and he produced it from his pocket, 
laughing as he did so at what he evidently considered a good 
joke on the military conductor. I looked at it, and returned 
it, simpl}^ saying, " That is all right, sir." The general held 
out his hand to me with a very cordial smile, and was evi- 
dently desirous of doing away with any ill feeling that the 
incident might have occasioned on my side. I was very badly 



vexed, however, that he should have attempted to play such 
a trick upon me, and to have doubted my honor ; and I did 
not receive his greeting with any great amount of cordiality, 
being resolved, in my own mind, to be even with him some 

On his return" General Polk explained the whole affair, and 
apologized very handsomely for having made such a test of 
my fidelity. I told him very plainly, however, that- 1 did not 
like that sort of thing, and that I proposed to tender my res- 
ignation shortly, as 1 preferred service in the field to duty 
like this, where I had to be acting the part of a spy on the 
people all the time, while being myself subjected to the sur- 
veillance of my superiors in a manner that was far from agree- 
able. He attempted to discourage me from indulging in the 
idea of resigning ; but although I did not care to argue the 
matter with him, my mind was fully made up to try my luck 
in some other line of duty. 


I was the more anxious to get away, as I had received an 
urgent letter from my friend. Captain Shankey, asking me to 
return to Virginia and enter the secret service. This would 
have suited me exactly, had I been certain of getting the 
kind of employment I wanted by complying witlj Captain 
Shankey's request. But having just come from Virginia, 
where I had been for a number of months waiting in vain for 
a fair chance to make myself useful in such a manner that I 
could take a genuine pride and interest in my work, I was 
disposed to wait a while and see something of military opera- 
tions in the West before returning. This call to go East was, 
however, a good pretext for throwing up a position that was 
becoming unpleasant, and that promised to be abundantly an- 
noying, without offering any corresponding advantages. It 
was an additional string to my bow, and I could, at least, con- 
sider it while making another effort to tempt Fortune, before 
putting in an appearance on my old campaign ground again. 

It was really, however, my intention to go back to Virginia, 
so soon as I could get relieved from the duty I was engaged 
in, and had that object in my mind when I sent in my resig- 
nation, although circumstances occurred that induced me to 
change my plans. My resignation was accepted without much 
hesitation at headquarters, and once more, after three weeks, 


A R U X D ni C B X X D. 



service as a military conductor, I was free to follow my own 

These three weeks were very fruitful in experiences, and I 
learned a good many things which I do not particularly care to 
set down in black and white, but which were worth knowing. 
Between what I saw and heard, both in the East and the 
West, I was beginning to understand why things did not 
move briskly, and why, in spite of successes in the field, tlie 
Confederate cause, instead of making headway, was losing 
ground ; and 1 was, in a measure, prepared for the disasters 
which shortly after began to follow thick and fast. But, be- 
fore disasters did come, there were some bright days, which, 
in my memory, seem brighter than, perhaps, they really were, 
from the contrast between them and the dismal times by 
which they were succeeded. These I enjoyed to the utmost, 
and when the darkness of defeat and disaster did begin to 
settle down upon the doomed Confederacy, I, for one, bore up 
with undaunted spirit to the very last hour, and was willing 
to fight the thing out even when every hope of success had 
vanished. But these are matters that do not properly come 
up for discussion in this place ; and what we are now con- 
cerned with are the pleasant hours of genuine fun and frolic — 
the last I saw for many a day — that preceded the bursting 
of the storm-cloud which was beginning to overshadow the 
fortunes of the Confederacy. 



In Search of active Employment. — On the Road to Bowling Green, Ken- 
tucky. — My travelling Companions. — A Halt at Paris. — A Hog- 
killing and Corn-shucking Frolic. — Dancing all Night in the School- 
house. — A Quilting-Party. — My particular Attentions to a Lady. — 
The other Girls unhappy. — The Reward of Gallantry. — What General 
Hardee had to say to me. — The Woodsonville Fight. — On the back 
Track for Fort Donelson. 

T would, perhaps, have been better for me, in 
many respects, had I gone back to Virginia ; for 
the probabilities were that I would, very shortly, 
if not immediately, have obtained the gratifica- 
tion of my desire for active employment in the 
r^^it--^ secret service corps, and I would, consequently, 

&^mr :! j,-|Q^ Q^^r [jave put in my time to much better advan- 
tage than I did, both for myself and for the Confed- 
eracy, but I would have been spared a number of 
particularly unpleasant occurrences which were fruitful 
of nothing but abundance of disgust on my part. If 
everything happened to us, however, just as we desired in this 
world, not only would we not properly appreciate heaven, when 
we get there, — if we ever do, — but adventure would lose much 
of its zest. So, the best way, after all, is, perhaps, to take 
things about as they come, and keeping a sharp lookout for 
tlie main chances, do what we can with them to advance the 
ends we have in view. 

M}^ campaign in the West, before I trod Virginia ground 
again, was certainly adventuresome enough to satisfy all my 
cravings, were adventure alone what I wanted. While, how- 
ever, I plunged into adventures for the love of the thing,- and 
cared not what perils presented themselves when I had an 
object to attain, I was neitlier reckless nor foolhardy, and 
wanted to have something definite in view beyond the excite- 
ment of the hour. 

It was because I thought that there would be a chance for 



me, ere a great while, in Kentucky, to demonstrate my value 
either as a soldier or as a spy, — for some heavy fighting was 
undoubtedly about to begin, — that I determined to defer 
going East for the present, thinking that Fortune would favor 
me where I was. So I remained, and began to look about lor 
a good place to commence operations in again. As there was 
evidently notliing to be had at Columbus that I wanted, I de- 
cided to try what could be done at the other end of the Con- 
federate line of operations, — at Bowling Green. 

Starting for Bowling Green. 

For Bowling Green I accordingly started, my travelling 
companions being Colonel Bacon and Captain Billingsley. 
They were both genial, pleasant gentlemen, — gentlemen in 
every sense of the word, — and I enjoyed their society greatly 
during the journey. 

Soldiers are generally fond of taking a hand in anything in 
the shape of a frolic that is going on, more especially as a uni- 
form-coat is tolerably sure to be a passport to the favor of the 
ladies ; consequently, when on reaching the little town of 
Paris, we found tliat there was some sport in progress in the 
shape of a hog-killing and corn-shucking festival, we con- 
cluded that the best thing we could do would be to stop and 
have a bit of fun. Well, it was genuine fun, of a downright 
hearty kind, and all three of us enjoyed ourselves immensely, 
although, I am afraid that the captain and the colonel appre- 
ciated the thing more than I did ; for they were both great 
ladies' men, and this was such a chance as did not present it- 
self every day for them to exert their powers of fascination 
upon the fair sex. I considered that I had a manly reputation 
to sustain, too, and I consequently resolved not to be beaten 
by them in the matter of gallant attentions to the girls of 
Paris. My previous experience in winning the regards of my 
sex, induced me to believe that I could, with comparative 
ease, become the hero of the occasion, in spite of their supe- 
riority of official rank and superior dignity of manly carriage. 
This was the first occasion since my assumption of male attire 
that I had been ofiered a fair chance to attempt a bit of rivalry 
of this kind, and I thought that it would be a first-rate notion 
to improve the occasion. I determined, therefore, on an 
active campaign for the smiles of the fair one with the cap- 
tain and the colonel. 


A Favorite with the Ladies. 

The welcome which was extended to us was all that could 
be desired in the way of cordiality, the girls, especially, evi- 
dently being delighted to have three dashing officers take part 
with them in tlie frolic. It was not a great while, therefore, 
before each of us had a young lady in charge, and were doing 
our best to be as agreeable as possible. I had, perhaps, rather 
the advantage of the colonel and the captain at the start, for I 
figured as one of those nice little fellows who, for some unac- 
countable reason, seem to be admired b}' many women in a 
greater degree than are more manly-looking men ; and as I 
exerted myself to be as fascinating as possible, my two com- 
panions were speedily thrown in the shade, and I found my- 
self the special object of the adoration of the Parisian damsels, 
very much to my amusement. 

The colonel and the captain, however, had the best of me in 
the long run, for, as I was only playing a part, I was not able to 
keep up the competition with as much animation as they did ; 
and although the first successes were mine, I was tired out, 
and ready to retire from the field some time before they 
showed any disposition to give up. I think that both of my 
friends perceived that I was trying to outshine them with the 
Paris girls ; but as they did not understand the situation as I 
did, they were, of course, unable to see exactly where the 
laugh came in. Could they have but known who I really was, 
they would, undoubtedly, have been intensely amused, and 
would have enjoyed the whole performance immensely. 

A Village Ball. 

The serious business of hog-killing and corn-shucking was 
supplemented by a feast, at which the viands were chiefly 
winter apples and cider, and the frolic concluded with a dance 
in the school-house, which lasted until morning. My two 
friends and myself were in great demand as partners, and we 
nearly danced the breath out of our bodies before the affair 
wound up ; which it finally did about daybreak, very much 
to my satisfaction, for I was nearly used up, having found 
waltzing all night much harder and more exhausting work 
than campaigning. The affair, however, was a right merry 
one, and I enjoyed myself immensely. 

When day began to dawn, we took our girls home, and then 


souglit our beds. It was not long before I was sound asleep, 
and so worn out with my exertions of the night, that I did not 
wake up until nearly supper-time. 

The next evening we went to a quilting- party, I acting as 
escort to an old maid who had been compelled to play the part 
of a wall-flower nearly all the night before, and to whom I de- 
termined to pay particular attention, just for the sake of a 
joke, and to annoy the younger girls, who showed a marked 
disposition to monopolize all the masculine attentions at her 
expense. It was very funny to note the dismay which this 
choice of mine caused in the breasts of those who thought 
they had a better right to my courtesies. I had the satisfac- 
tion of seeing, however, that my politeness was keenly appre- 
ciated by the recipient of it, and I redoubled my exertions to 
make myself agreeable when I noticed the chagrin my con- 
duct was exciting among the rivals of my lady. 

As for the lady herself, she had evidently not received so 
much marked attention from anybody in masculine garb for a 
long time, and she plumed herself immensely on having made 
a conquest of the dashing little lieutenant, and was, doubtless, 
inspired by a higher appreciation of her own powers'of fascina- 
tion than she had ever been before. Repeated attempts were 
made to win me away from her side, but all in vain ; the sport 
was too entertaining forme to give it up, and I steadfastly re- 
sisted all the allurements of the rival beauties, with not a little 
enjoyment of their discomfiture. 


The quilting-party was a very merry and very noisy one, 
although the iun was not of quite so uproarious a character as 
that of the previous night. I offered to take a hand at the 
work that was going on, making a great boast of my skill with 
the needle. The probabilities are that I could have manipu- 
lated that little feminine instrument quite as deftly as most of 
those present, but did not think it expedient to show myself 
too handy with it. Taking my place at the frame, therefore, 
I set about making a figure with something of masculine 
awkwardness, and succeeded in putting in quite as shocking 
a bit of work as most men would have done under the circum- 

While I was doing this, the girls all looked on with great 
eagerness, praising my work, and endeavoring to flatter me 


into the belief that I was doing magnificently. When I had 
completed the figure. I pretended that I thought it much too 
bad to remain, and offered to pick it out. At this, there was 
a chorus of indignant remonstrance from all the feminines 
present, and I was, consequently, compelled to let it stand, 
the young ladies very prettily professing to be lost in admi- 
ration, and my old maid, in particular, smiling on my humble 
efibrt with touching sweetness. 

There was now an increased effort to win me from my first 
love ; but with a firmness that would have done me infinite 
credit, had my coat and trowsers rightly represented my sex, 
I persisted in my preference, leaving it for the colonel and the 
captain to sustain the credit of the army for gallantry with the 
other feminine members of the party. 

Tokens of Esteem. 

My rather excessive politeness to the lady in question was 
not without its ample reward ; for when the time for leaving 
Paris came, she gave me a substantial token of her esteem and 
of her keen appreciation of my attentions, by putting me ilp a 
lunch, consisting of a fried chicken, biscuits, apples, and two 
bottles of cider, which, if she is still living, and should have 
the pleasure of reading this narrative, she will learn were 
keenly enjoyed by my two friends and myself as we journeyed 
towards Bowling Green. 

So ended the episode of the Paris frolic. It was good fun 
while it lasted, and it becomes a particularly bright spot in 
my memory in contrast with the dismal and harrowing scenes 
by which it was so soon to be succeeded. The Paris girls 
furnished the colonel, the captain, and myself topics of con- 
versation during a good part of the balance of our journey, 
and my companions had considerable fun at my expense, on 
account of my pecidiar manner of conducting myself towards 
the ladies of that village. I took their raillery in good part, 
of course, smiling to myself at certain amusing incidents, the 
full significance of which it was impossible for them to 
understand. Soon, however, all three of us had enough of 
other things to think of to induce us to dismiss Paris, and the 
delights of hog-killing, corn-shucking, and quilting-frolics from 
our minds, and to bend our thoughts to the consideration of 
matters of more serious interest. 

On arrival at General Hardee's headquarters, I went to him, 


and sliowing him my commission, stated that I wanted to go 
into active service as a scout. He said that he thought there 
wouhl soon bo a chance for me ; which was so nearly like the 
answers I had received from a number of otiier commanders, 
that 1 did not feci especially encouraged by it. It really 
meant about as much as similar remarks made by others, for 
nothing came of it, and I was compelled to drift about, looking 
out myself for something to do to kill time while waiting in 
hope that the current of events -would shape themselves in a 
manner favorable to my idea. 

At this period of the war I could have been employed to 
very great advantage as a spy, to go to and fro through the 
lines ; and there is no doubt that I could, with comparative 
ease, have obtained information of the first value to the Con- 
federate commanders. The Federals, as Ave all knew, were 
making immense preparations for an important forward move- 
ment ; and had I been employed as I wanted to be, I could, 
most likely, have succeeded in saving the Confederates from 
waiting for defeat to teach them what they ought to have 
known wliile making their preparations to meet the enemy. 

Perhaps if General Hardee, and others, had known exactly 
who and what I was, and what were my particular talents in 
the line of duty I desired to follow, they would have sliown a 
greater disposition to afford me opportunities to signalize my- 
self. They did see, however, that I was ready, willing, and, 
apparently, able to work ; and I scarcely think that they were 
blameless in not, at least, giving me a fair trial. 

The Fight at Woodsonville. 

I was bent, however, notwithstanding the disappointment 
under which I labored, on showing my devotion to the cause 
of Southern independence ; and, in accordance with my gen- 
eral plan of not letting slip an opportunity of being on hand 
when there was any real, serious work to be done, I took 
part in the fight at Woodsonville, on Green River, and fiiced 
the enemy as valiantly as anybody. In this fight. Colonel 
Terry, a brave Texan officer, whom I greatly admired, was 
among the slain. 

The afiair at "Woodsonville was something of a diversion 
from the monotony of camp life, but it did not satisfy my am- 
bition or my intense desire for active service ; and coming to 
the conclusion that lounging about Bowling Green and vicinity 


was much too slim a business for me, I decided to shift my 
quarters to where there was a somewhat better prospect of 
hard fighting to be done. It was by this time evident that 
the Federals intended making a determined attempt to cap- 
ture Forts Henry and Donelson, on the Tennessee and Cum- 
berland Rivers, and as I felt confident that our people would 
make a brave and desperate resistance, I resolved to go and 
take a hand in the approaching battle, in the hope that some- 
thing to my advantage would result from it. If a desire to 
witness some hard fighting was ray chief object in this move- 
ment, it was more than gratified, for the horrors of the siege 
of Donelson far surpassed anything I had yet witnessed, and 
by the time it was over, I certainly got enough of the excite- 
ment of battle to satisfy me for some time to come. Happily 
for ourselves, we cannot foresee the future, and in blissful 
ignorance of the agonizing scenes which I would soon be 
called upon to witness, I started for Fort Donelson with a 
comparatively light heart, bent only on so demonstrating my 
devotion to the cause as would compel the recognition of my 



The Spirit of Partisanship. — My Opinions with Regard to the Invincibihty 
of the Southern Soldiers. — Unprepared to sustain the Humiliation of 
Defeat. — The Beginning of the End. — At Fort Donelson. — The 
Federal Attack expected. — Preparations for the Defence.. — The Gar- 
rison confident of their Ability to hold the Fort. — The Diiference be- 
tween Summer and Winter Campaigning. — Enthusiasm supplanted by 
Hope and Determination. — My Boy Bob and I go to Work in the 
Trenches. — Too much of a good Thing. — Dirt-Digging not exactly in 
my Line — The Federals make their Appearance. — The Opening of the 
Battle. — On picket Duty in the Trenches at Night. — Storm of Snow 
and Sleet. — The bitter Cold. — Cries and Groans of the Wounded. — 
My Clothing stiff with Ice. — I find myself giving Way, but manage to 
endure until the Relief comes. — Terrible Suffering. — Singular Ideas. 
— A four Days' Battle. — The Confederate Successes on the first and 
second Days. — The Gunboats driven off. — Desperate Fighting ou 
the third Day. — A breathing Spell. — The Confederates finally driven 
back into the Fort. — It is resolved to surrender. — Generals Floyd and 
Pillow make their Escape. — General Buckner surrenders to General 
Grant. — Terrible Scenes after the Battle is over. — The Ground 
strewn for Miles with Dead and Dying. — Wounded Men crushed by 
the artillery Wagons. — The Houses of the Town of Dover filled with 
Wounded. — My Depression of Spirits on Account of the terrible 
Scenes I had witnessed. 

AM a partisan, by instinct and by education. 
It is an impossibility for me to limit or divide my 
affections and predilections; and in choosing a 
side in a great contest like that which was 
waged between the South and the North, I must 
do so with my whole heart and soul. Others, 
abler than myself, may have done more to promote 
the cause of Southern independence, and may have 
labored with greater efficiency; but no man or wo- 
man in the whole Confederacy was inspired by a more 
ardent devotion to the cause than myself, or had 
greater faith in its ultimate success, no matter what odds 
it might be compelled to contend against. I trusted to 
my impulses, perhaps, more than to my reason ; but every 
11 161 


strong partisan must do this, in a greater or less degree, and 
if I miscalculated, or was ignorant of the real power of the 
North, and of the resources which the Federal government 
was able to command, I had plenty of companions in my 
error, for there were thousands who possessed far more per- 
fect means of information than myself, who were quite as 
eager to enter upon a war without calculating the cost or esti- 
mating the consequences. 

Tlie fact was, however, that I did not think of calculating 
with regard to the probable result of the contest. I had the 
most exalted opinion of the invincibility of our Southern sol- 
diers, and of the skill of our generals, and I was unable to 
think of them otherwise than as about to enter upon a career 
of victory. 

Up to the time of which I am now writing, nearly every- 
thing had contributed to the encouragement of my original 
notions. In both of the great battles in which I had partici- 
pated the Confederates had been brilliantly successful ; and 
while the permanent results had scarcely been equal to my 
hopes and expectations, my opinion with regard to Southern 
invincibility had scarcely received a serious check. My na- 
ture and temperament are such, that just as when, amid the 
excitement of a battle, each combatant in the opposing army 
becomes for the moment a personal enemy, so in the hour of 
defeat I am compelled to feel a humiliation as keen as if it 
was my own alone. Such a humiliation I was very shortly to 
endure; but, in hurrying towards Fort Donelson, I little 
knew that I was about to become the spectator of a defeat 
80 crushing and disastrous as for a time to annihilate in 
my bosom all hope, and which gave a death-blow to the 
impetuous but untutored enthusiasm with which I had 
started out. 

I had tasted the sweets of victory, and had felt all the ex- 
ultation which fills the breast of the soldier after a hard- 
fought battle in seeing the enemy flee before him, and now I 
was called upon to taste the bitterness of defeat, and of de- 
feat attended with unspeakable horrors. The capture of Fort 
Donelson was the beginning of the end, although I hardly so 
understood it at the time ; but soon it was followed by other 
disasters scarcely less crushing, and the enthusiasm of de- 
spair, rather than of hope, was the inspiration not only of my- 
self, but of the whole Southern people during the last three 
years of the contest. 




. ♦ 


>:> ^ ^ se ^ o ^C3^ . -"«i^ 


^ « <^- ,"^ ^-^ f O G l' 



164 at fort donelson. 

An Estimate of the Position. 

When I reached Fort Donelson, General Pillow was in com- 
mand, and preparations for meeting the enemy were being 
pushed forward with all possible energy. Fort Henry, on 
the Tennessee River, about fifteen miles from Fort Donelson, 
had been captured by the Federals, and Donelson, every one 
knew, would be the next object of attack, both by land and 
water. The fortifications were very strong, although, being 
built for the purpose of commanding the river, they were 
weaker on the land than on the water side, and the great duty 
of the hour was the construction of earthworks for the pro- 
tection of the exposed side. The labor required for the ex- 
ecution of this task was immense, but every one went at it 
with a good will, and with a feeling of confidence in our abil- 
ity to give the Federals the repulse that the garrison of Fort 
Henry had failed to do, although we were certain that they 
were about to assail us with a very large force, and that they 
considered the capture of the position a matter of such vital 
importance that they would spare no effort to accomplish it. 
While, however, there was the greatest belief in the impreg- 
nability of the position, and in the ability of our garrison, 
composed of Southern soldiers of tried courage and gallantry, 
to hold it, even against heavy odds, all felt that a desperate 
and bloody conflict was about to begin, and nerved themselves 
for the dreadful task before tli-em. 

The Teachings .op Experience. 

I entered upon this conflict with fir different emotions from 
those which animated me when about to take part in the bat- 
tle of Bull Run. Then I was inspired by all the enthusiasm 
of ignorance, and Avas, perhaps,- animated as much by an in- 
tense desire to see what a great battle was like, as by any 
other feeling. I could not get rid of the idea that the rout 
of the enemy would mean their annihilation, and the trium- 
phant accomplishment of all the ends for which we had taken 
up arms. I might have known better than this, if I had 
thought; but I did not think. I only felt, just like thou- 
sands of others. The battle of Bull Run, too, was fought 
in the middle of summer, in beautiful, clear, July weather ; 
and although fighting the enemy through that long, sultry 
day, with the blazing sun overhead, was no holiday task, 


and it taxed the energies of officers and men to the 
utmost to achieve the defeat of the enemy, it was a 
very different thing from defending a series of earthworks 
from a combined attack, by land and water, in the dead 
of winter. 

Premonitions op Defeat. 

I had scon much of war and its horrors since the battle of 
Bull Run, and better comprehended now what serious work 
it was, and what enormous labor would have to be performed, 
if the hopes and expectations of the summer were to be 
realized. In fact, I appreciated the situation from the stand- 
point of a veteran, rather than from that of the raw recruit. 
Of enthusiasm, or, at least, such enthusiasm as that by wliich 
I was originally inspired, I had little or nothing ; but I had 
hope and determination, and was as much bent upon doing 
my very best as I was the day I was first under fire. There 
was something most depressing, however, in the_ idea of 
figuring in a desperate conflict in midwinter. The whole 
proceeding seemed unseasonable, and tliis peculiar feeling, 
combined with a singuhir sense of discomfort and constraint 
at being shut in fortifications from which there was next to 
no escape, except by driving off the enemy, or surrendering 
to him, had a powerful effect in dampening my ardor. 

At the first intimation of these unpleasant feelings coming 
over me, however, I shook them off with all the resolution I 
could command, and determined to show myself in every way 
worthy of the garments I wore, by doing a full man's work, 
in preparing for the expected attack. There was a great 
deal that had to be done, and done quickly, in the way of 
completing the intrenchments, and I made up my mind to 
lend a hand, as 1 felt sure that volunteers would be welcome 
when hard labor like this was to be performed, even if 
they were not regarded with the best favor by those ia 
authority at other times. 

At Work in the Trenches. 

My boy Bob and I, therefore, went into the trenches,, and 
commenced to shovel dirt with all possible energy and good 
will. In the execution of such a task as this. Bob soon 
proved himself to be a much better man than I was^ and he 
easily threw two shovelfuls to my one, and was apparently irv 


a condition to keep on indefinitely, when I, finding that I had 
miscalculated my strength, was compelled to desist. There 
are some things which men can do better than women, and 
digging intrenchments in the frozen ground is one of them. 
I was not a very great while in discovering this most impor- 
tant fact, and concluding that I had better try and make my- 
self useful in some other manner, I repaired, with aching 
back and blistered hands, to the headquarters of -General 
Floyd, who had just arrived with his Virginians, where I 
lounged about, waiting for events so to shape themselves 
that I would be able to show my fighting qualities to advan- 
tage, for nature had evidently intended me for a warrior 
rather than for a dirt-digger. 

Commencement of the Siege. 

The Federals made their appearance on the afternoon of 
Wednesday the 12th, and they could be seen at various 
points through the woods making preparations for com- 
mencing their attack by stationing themselves in advanta- 
geous positions for the environment of the fort on its land 
side, while the gunboats were to give us the benefit of their 
heavy ordnance from the river. These latter we felt very 
sure of being able to manage with comparative ease, as, 
indeed, we succeeded in doing ; for the fort, as I have before 
stated, was constructed chiefly with a view to the resistance 
of an attack upon this side, and our heaviest guns were 
mounted so as to command the river. The navy, therefore, 
would have to do some remarkably efficient service if it 
expected to make any marked impression on us, and the chief 
anxiety of our officers and men was on account of the com- 
parative weakness of the land defences. But even these, 
such was the confidence all had in the proverbial Southern 
valor, it was believed we would be able to hold successfully. 

The battle opened on Thursday, February 13, 1862, and, as 
if to increase the discomforts and sufferings of tlie com- 
batants, the weather, which had been quite moderate and 
pleasant, suddenly became intensely cold. On Thursday 
night, about eight o'clock, a tremendous storm of snow and 
sleet came on, to the full fury of which I was exposed ; for a 
young officer, who wanted to take French leave for the night, 
had taken advantage of my eagerness for active service, and 
made an arrangement for me to go on picket duty for him in 


the trenches. I was less fitted to stand this kind of exposure 
than many of my comrades, for, independently of my sex, I 
was born and brought up in a semi-tropical climate, and 
altliough inured to hardships during the months I had been 
figuring as a soldier, I was but indifferently qualified to 
endure the sufferings of this terrible night. 

On Picket Duty at Night. 

When entering upon a soldier's career, however, I was ani- 
mated by a stern resolve not to shirk any duty I might be 
called on to undertake, no matter how arduous or uncongenial 
it might be ; and although I was, on this occasion, really in- 
truding myself where I did not belong, my pride would not 
have permitted me to back down, even had I fully apprecia- 
ted, before starting for the trendies, what I would have to go 
through with before I could return to shelter again. As for 
the person whose duty I had undertaken to perform, he un- 
doubtedly thought himself particularly lucky in getting rid of 
such an ugly job, and I fancy that he considered me a fool for 
the eagerness I displayed to get into a scrape for his benefit. 
I hope he managed to have a good time during the long hours 
of that dreadful night, for in spite of what I suffered I bore 
him no hard feelings. 

If repentance for my rashness in resolving to play a soldier's 
part in the war was ever to overcome me, however, now was* 
the time ; and I confess that, as the sleet stung my face, and 
the biting winds cut me to the bones, I wished myself well 
out of it, and longed for the siege to be over in some shape, 
even if relief came only through defeat. The idea of defeat, 
however, was too intolerable to be thought of, and I banished 
it from my mind whenever it occurred to me, and argued with 
myself that I was no better than the thousands of brave men 
around, who were suffering from these wintry blasts as 
much as I. 

A Night of Horror. 

The agonized cries of the wounded, and their piteous calls 
for water, really affected me more than my own discomfort ; 
and had it not been for the heart-rending sounds that greeted 
my ear every moment, I could, perhaps, have succeeded better 
than I did in bearing up under the horrors of the night witli 
some degree of equanimity. Every now and then a shriek 


would be uttered that would strike terror to my soul, and 
make my blood run cold, as the fiercest fighting I had ever 
Been had not been able to do. I could face the cannon better 
than I could this bitter weather, and I could suffer myself 
better than I could bear to hear the cries and groans of these 
wounded men, lying out on the frozen ground, exposed to the 
beatings of this pitiless storm. Several times I felt as if I 
could stand it no longer, and was tempted to give the whole 
thing up, and lie down upon the ground and die ; but, although 
my clothing was perfectly stiff with ice, and I ached in every 
limb from the cold, I succeeded in rallying myself whenever 
I found these fits of despondency coming over me, and stood 
my ground to the last. 

I understood, from this brief but sufficient experience, 
what must have been the sufferings of the army of Napoleon, 
on the retreat from Moscow ; and the story of that retreat, 
which had hitherto seemed to me more like a romance than a 
narrative of actual occurrences, was now presented to my 
mind as a terrible reality. I even tried to find some consola- 
tion in thinking that, after all, it was only for a few hours that 
I would be called upon to endure, while the soldiers in that 
most disastrous retreat were for weeks exposed to all the 
severities of an almost Arctic winter, in their long march over 
desert plains, but was forced to the conclusion that reflect- 
ing on the woes of others is but an indifferent alleviation of 
our own. 

Fantastic Ideas. 

In such a situation as the one I am describing, the most 
singular ideas run through one's mind. The minutes are 
lengthened out into hours, and the hours into days, until the 
reckoning of time is lost ; and as the past seems to fade away 
into a remoteness that makes the painlessness of yesterday 
appear like the fragment of a happy dream, so the future, 
when it will all be over, and the commonplace routine of un- 
eventful every-day life will commence again, is as far off as a 
child's imagination pictures heaven to be. We actually catch 
ourselves wondering whether it has always been so, and 
whether it will always be so until we die, and when we die, 
whether eternity will have anything better to offer. Little 
incidents in our past lives, of no possible moment, and which 
had perhaps never been thought of from the date of their 
occurrence, present themselves suddenly, with astonishing 


vividness, to the memory. The mental and the physical be- 
ings seem to be engaged in a contest for the mastery, and as 
the numbness of the half-frozen limbs increases, the brain 
shapes more and more fantastic ideas, and if the terrible con- 
test is too long protracted, and tlie strain upon the endurance 
is not removed, fantasy develops into madness, and madness 
swiftly results in death. 

More than once I felt myself giving way ; more than once 
I detected my mind Meandering off strangely from the sur- 
roundings of the moment ; but, by a resolute eifort of will, and 
by an indomitable determination not to succumb, I succeeded 
in sustaining myself until my relief came, and I was able to 
seek shelter and the repose I so sorely needed. 

The Progress of the Battle. 

The battle lasted four days and nights, and, although the 
Confederates fought with desperate valor, they were at length 
compelled to yield, and the humiliation of defeat was added 
to the unspeakable sufferings which the conduct of a fierce 
and prolonged contest like this, in the middle of a winter of 
unparalleled severity, entailed upon them. Fortune, which 
had favored the side of the Confederacy in the battles in 
which I had heretofore been engaged, was against us now, 
however, and in spite of the fierce resistance which the gar- 
rison made to the Federal attacks, the result was, that nothing 
was left for us to do but surrender. 

The results of the first day's fighting were favorable to us, 
the Federals being repulsed at all points, and we all felt tol- 
erably sure that we would be able either to drive them off, or 
to cut our way through their lines. 

The Gunboats brought into Action. 

On Friday, the forces on the land side, evidently discour- 
aged by their ill luck of the day before, did not attempt any 
very serious demonstrations. It Avas now the turn of the 
gunboats to try what they could do towards driving us out 
of the fort. The navy, however, did not have any better 
success than the army. In the afternoon the boats advanced 
up the river, and commenced to shell our works, but they 
inflicted on us no particular damage, while our fire told on 
them with terrible effect. The contest between the batteries 


and the gunboats continued for about an hour and a half, at 
the end of which time we had the satisfaction of seeing them 
drift down the river, evidently very badly cut up. So the 
end of the second day's battle was in favor of the Confed- 

In the mean time, however, the besieging army was re- 
ceiving large re-enforcements, and was apparently preparing 
to renew the attack on the land side with increased vigor. 

The Confederate Sortie. 

With characteristic energy, the Confederate commanders 
resolved not to wait to be attacked, but to sally from the fort, 
and strike the enemy a deadly blow. The sortie was gal- 
lantly made, and our soldiers fell upon their antagonists with 
a fury that made them recoil. The contest was conducted 
with terrible vigor on both sides for some hours, and our 
men succeeded in driving back the Federals, with great loss. 
They, however, were unable to follow up their advantage, and 
there came a lull in the storm of battle, during which both 
armies seemed to be taking breath, preparatory to renewing 
the fight with greater ferocity than ever. 

At length the Federals rallied, and stormed the intrench- 
ments with a much larger force than before, and, after a 
severe struggle, the Confederates were driven laack into the 
fort, leaving hundreds of the dead and wounded lying on the 
frozen ground. By this time our ranks had been so thinned 
out, that every one felt it would be madness to continue the 
contest longer against the greatly superior force of the 
enemy. We had fought, and fought gallantly, doing all that 
soldiers could do to maintain ourselves ; but, in spite of the 
desperate valor that the garrison had displayed, defeat stared 
us in the face, and it would have been useless bloodshed to 
have attempted a prolongation of the battle. The Federals, 
for this once, at least, were masters of the field, and all we 
cared longer to do was to get as many of our men as possible 
away before the surrender took place, and to retrieve the dis- 
aster by meeting the enemy under more auspicious circum- 
stances another time. 

Departure of Floyd and Pillow. 

I felt the most profound pity for General Floyd, when he 
found that further resistance was useless, and that the fort 


must be given up to the enemy. He actually shed tears, and 
both he and General Pillow seemed borne down by the keen- 
est humiliation, when, after turning over the command to Gen- 
eral Buckner, they embarked their men hurriedly on the boats 
at night, and efiected their escape. Every one knew that 
they could do no good by remaining, and that, by so doing, 
they would only give so many more prisoners to the exultant 
victors ; but many of those who were left behind seemed to 
consider their departure as cowardly, and as an attempt to 
shirk danger, and greeted them with hisses and groans as 
they embarked. I Avas indignant at this, for I knew that they 
had done all that could have been expected of them, and that 
for them to participate in the surrender would only increase 
the extent of the disaster, and add to the importance of the 
Federal victory. 

This was undoubtedly one of the most terrible battles of 
the whole war, the fact of its having been fought in the midst 
of an unusually severe winter serving to increase its horrors 
tenfold. Towards the last, the contest between the besiegers 
and besieged was hand to hand, both sides contending for the 
mastery with a ferocity which I cannot pretend to command 
words to describe. Again and again were the Federals re- 
pulsed from the works, and, at some points, they were so 
much cut up that it seemed impossible for them to rally again. 
Ee-enforcements of fresh troops, however, came continually to 
the relief of the defeated assailants, while each hour thinned 
out the garrison terribly. After every repulse, the enemy 
advanced to the attack with increased force, or made a furious 
assault in a new place, and by the time General Buckner 
surrendered the fort to General Grant, the vicinity of the 
earthworks, for miles around, presented a sickening spectacle 
of devastation and human suffering. 

After the Battle. 

In every direction the ground was trampled by thousands 
of feet, was cut up by the artillery carriages, and was strewn 
with dead horses and men, and with all kinds of munitions of 
war. In many of the trenches, especially where the fiercest 
fighting had taken place, the bodies were heaped together, six 
or seven feet high, and the faces of the corpses, distorted 
with the agonies of their death struggles, were hideous to 
look at. Those who fell, and died where they were shot, were 


comparatively fortunate, for their sufferings were soon ended. 
It was sickening, however, to think of the many poor fellows 
who, after fighting bravely, and falling helpless from their 
wounds, had their lives crushed out, and their forms mangled 
beyond recognition, by the furiously driven artillery. 

All the houses in the town of Dover were filled with the 
wounded, and the air was fairly alive with the groans. Dr. 
Moore, and other surgeons, did their best to alleviate the suf- 
ferings of the victims of cruel war ; but the best they could 
do was but little. Some of the men, with their limbs fearfully 
mangled, pleaded most piteously not to have them amputated, 
many of them stating that they preferred death to this new 
torture. Others could do no more than groan, or utter such 
cries as " God help me ; " while not a few besought the sur- 
geons to kill them, and end their misery. It was no wonder 
Dr. Moore said that it was no place for women, and that it 
was as much as the strong nerves of a man could do to bear 
up under such an accumulation of horrors. 

More accustomed to such scenes than most women, and 
better able to face the terrible sights by which I Avas sur- 
rounded, I endeavored, notwithstanding I was worn out, 
bodily and mentally, and was overwhelmed in spirit by the 
fearful disaster which had overtaken the Confederate arms, to 
aid, as much as lay in my power, to make the wounded men 
as comfortable as possible, until I saw that, if I intended to 
escape, I must do so at once. 

Although the horrors of a great battle like this affected me 
greatly at the time of their occurrence, still the excitement 
enabled me to bear up, and it was not until after a battle was 
over, and I was compelled to reflect, that I fully realized what 
a fearful thing this human slaughtering was. Immediately 
after the defeat at Fort Donelson, especially, I was greatly 
depressed in spirit, and it was long before I could shake off 
the disposition to shudder, and the feeling of intense melan- 
choly, that overcame me to such an extent, that I almost re- 
solved to give up the whole business, and to never allow my- 
self to be put in the way of witnessing anything of the kind 

In course of time, however, this feeling Avore off, and as, 
with restored health, — for I Avas quite sick from the expo- 
sures, fatigues, and horrors of the battle, — my spirits regained 
their elasticity, my restless disposition Avould not let me re- 
main inactive while so many exciting scenes were being 


enacted around me, and while the fjite of the Confederacy 
was trembling in the balance. If I did not forget tlie hor- 
rors of Fort Donelson, they erelong ceased to oppress me, 
and I was as ready as ever to do my share of any fighting 
that was going on. It was never my disposition to brood 
over misfortunes, and, although this one affected me deeply 
for a season, I succeeded in overcoming its effects, and, after 
a little rest and recuperation, was ready to resume my life of 
adventure as a soldier of fortune. 



Taking a Rest at Nashville. — Again on the March. — I join General A. 
S. Johnston's Army. — Wounded in a Skirmish. — Am afraid of having 
my Sex discovered, and leave suddenly for New Orleans. — In New 
Orleans I am suspected of being a Spy, and am arrested. — The Of- 
ficer who makes the Arrest in Doubt. — The Provost Marshal orders my 
Release. — I am again arrested by the Civil Authorities on Suspicion 
of being a Woman. — No Way out of the Scrape but to reveal my Iden- 
tity. — Private Interview with Mayor Monroe. — The Major fines and 
imprisons me. — I enlist as a private Soldier. — On arriving at Fort 
Pillow, obtain a Transfer to the Army of East Tennessee. 

ROM Fort Donelson I went, with what speed I 
could, to Nashville, and took rooms at the St. 
Cloud Hotel. I was utterly used up from fa- 
tigue, exposure, anxiety, and bitter disap- 
pointment ; and both I and my negro boy Bob 
— who had been taken quite sick during the 
'battle — needed an opportunity to thoroughly rest 
ourselves. It was an immense relief to reach a good 
hotel, where I could have a shelter over my head, a 
comfortable bed, and wholesome food ; but such was 
the restlessness of my disposition, and the agitation of my 
mind, on account of the terrible scenes through which I had 
just passed, that I could not keep quiet ; and scarcely had I 
recovered a little from my fatigue, than I was eager to be in 
motion again. 

The Excitement in Nashville. 

Nashville was in an intense state of excitement over the 
unexpected result of the attack upon Fort Donelson ; and, stim- 
ulated, perhaps, as much by the turmoil around me, and by the 
apprehensions that were felt by every one, lest the Federals 
should follow up their success by marching on the city, my old 
eagerness to be an active participant in the contest which was 
being waged, returned with all its former force, and I was 



soon as anxious as ever to do a soldier's full duty. If the 
Federals were to be effectively resisted, and the defeat of Don- 
elson retrieved, there was but one course for the friends of 
the Confederacy, whether soldiers or citizens, to pursue, and 
strenuous exertion was the duty which the exigencies of the 
situation enforced upon every one. I felt that this was not 
the time for me to shirk the responsibilities I had voluntarily 
assumed, for if ever my services were needed, they were 
needed now. After a very brief repose at the St. Cloud, 
therefore, I was ready to brave the hardships and dangers of 
the battle-field again. 

Sending my negro boy to Grand Junction in charge of a 
friend, I went to the headquarters of General Albert Sydney 
Johnston, and upon asking for employment, was put in the de- 
tective corps. There was plenty of work for everybody to 
do, for the fall of Fort Donelson had rendered it necessary 
that the whole Southern army should fall back for the purpose 
of taking up a new line, and I had no reason to complain of a 
lack of activity, although the activity of a retreat was not 
exactly what I most admired. I was not very long in getting 
my fighting blood up again ; but, unfortunately, my com- 
bative propensities, this time, had a somewhat serious result, 
which compelled me to abandon the line of duty I had chosen, 
and to disappear from the sight of my new associates. 


While participating in a skirmish with the enemy, who were 
harassing us whenever an opportunity offered, I Avas Avounded 
in the foot. This lamed me, and compelled me to have the 
hurt dressed by the surgeon, at which I was not a little 
alarmed, for I knew that I was now in imminent danger of 
having my sex discovered. The wound was not a very severe 
one, and I probably magnified its importance ; but the circum- 
stances were such that it could scarcely have a fair chance to 
heal speedily if I remained in the field, and dreading the 
prospect of being for a long period under the care of the 
surgeon, who would be much more likely to suspect me than 
any one else, I resolved that the only course for me to pursue 
was to abandon the army before I got into trouble. 

I therefore availed myself of the earliest possible oppor- 
tunity to take French leave, and quietly slipped away to Grand 
Junction, where 1 remained for three days, and then, in com- 


pany with my boy Bob, repaired to Jackson, Mississippi. At 
Jackson I hired Bob out, as I wanted to get rid of him for a 
while, liaving in my mind certain plans, in the execution of 
which it would have been an incumbrance for him to have 
been with me. Bob being disposed of in a satisfactory man- 
ner, I hastened, without further delay, to New Orleans, and 
took up my quarters at the Brooks House. 

By abandoning the army, however, and going to New Or- 
leans at this particular juncture, I was, to use a homely 
phrase, jumping out of the frying-pan into the fire. Rigid as 
was army discipline, and strict as were the precautions taken 
to prevent treachery and the surveillance of spies, I had 
managed to sustain myself in the army as an independent 
without difficulty, and was on the best possible terms with 
everybody. In New Orleans, on the other hand, I found the 
spirit of suspicion rampant. Confidence in the ability of the 
city to defend itself against the impending Federal attack 
was expressed on all sides, but the fact that an attempt was 
undoubtedly to be made, before a great while, for its reduc- 
tion, and the uncertainty with regard to the exact nature of 
the blow, or the exact direction from which it would fall, 
caused an uneasiness that could not be disguised. The Fed- 
erals were known to be mustering an enormous fleet at the 
mouth of the river, and a large army on the Sound, and my 
surmises of months before, based upon what I had heard in 
Washington, were, apparently, about to be realized. 

New Orleans Apprehensive op an Attack. 

While the city was in this condition of suspense, each man 
looked more or less askance at his neighbor, and the fear of 
Federal spies was a feeling that preponderated over all others 
in the hearts of many. People who, in war time, don't do any 
fighting, are, according to my experience, as bellicose in their 
language as they are cowardly in the face of real danger, 
making up in suspiciousness and vindictiveness what they 
lack in valor. It was not to be wondered at, therefore, that I 
speedily got myself into serious trouble, to escape the conse- 
quences of which I was compelled to resort to some desperate 

I did not at all appreciate the situation when I went to New 
Orleans. When I entered Washington it was as a spy, and I 
consequently had all my wits about me ; but in New Orleans 


I thought I was among my friends, and very imprudently 
neglected ordinary precautions for avoiding difficulties. 

During the eight or nine months I had been wearing male 
attire, I had, as the reader is aware, seen a great deal of very 
hard service. My clothing was well worn, and my apparatus 
for disguising my form was badly out of order ; and the result 
was, that I scarcely presented as creditable a manl}' appear- 
ance as I did upon the occasion of my last visit to New 
Orleans. 1 had, too, by this time become so much accus- 
tomed to male attire that I ceased to bear in my mind, 
constantly, the absolute necessity for preserving certain ap- 
pearances, and had grown careless about a number of little 
matters that, when attended to properly, aided materially in 
maintaining my incognito. In addition to all this, I Mas in 
very low spirits, if not absolutely sick, when I reached New 
Orleans, and was not in a mood to play my part in the best 

My Arrest as a Spy. 

I had not been in the city very long before it was noted by 
prying people that there was some mystery about me, and for 
any one to have a mystery just then, was equivalent to falling 
under the ban of both military and civic authorities. 1, of 
course, imagining no evil, was not prepared for a demonstra- 
tion against me, and was accordingly thunderstruck when I 
was arrested on the charge of being a spy, and taken before 
the provost marshal. 

Terror, dismay, and indignation struggled for mastery with 
me Avhen this outrage, as 1 considered it, was perpetrated. 
My great secret, I feared, was now on the point of being dis- 
covered ; and if it was discovered, the probabilities were that 
I would be unable any longer to continue the career I had 
marked out for myself I was enraged at the idea of being 
charged with acting as a spy, and of having my patriotism 
doubted after all I had done to promote tlie cause of Southern, 
independence ; and at the same time I appreciated the diffir 
culties and dangers of the situation, and puzzled my brain to- 
devise a plan for getting myself out of a very ugly scrape.. 
Reviewing the matter very rapidly in my own mind, I deter-- 
mined that the best, if not the only plan, was to present a 
bold front, and to challenge my accusers to prove anything 
against me, reserving a revelation of my identity as a. last, 



I entered a vigorous protest against the whole proceeding 
to the officer who made the arrest, and I could see, from his 
hesitating and indecisive manner, that he was in possession of 
no definite charge against me, and was inclined to be dubious 
about the propriety or legality of his action. This encour- 
aged me, and induced me to believe that I might be able to 
brave the thing through ; but I resolved, if I did get clear, to 
cut my visit to New Orleans as short as possible. My protest, 
however, was of no avail, so far as procuring an instantaneous 
release was concerned, for the officer insisted upon my accom- 
panying him to the office of the provost marshal. 

A DELICATE Situation. 

While on my way to the provost marshal's, my conductor 
questioned me closely, but I gave him such answers as evi- 
dently increased his uneasy feelings, and I soon saw that he 
was beginning to seriously doubt whether he was doing ex- 
actly the correct thing in making the arrest. Finally, he 
proposed to release me ; but to this I objected in very decided 
terms, and insisted on knowing exactly what accusations there 
were against me. 

To the office of the provost marshal we accordingly went, 
and, after a very few questions, that official decided, with 
gratifying promptness, that there was no justification for 
holding me, and ordered my discharge from custody. 

This appeared to astonish the individual who had made the 
arrest very much, and it was evident that he was repenting 
of his rashness, and was anxious to get out of an unpleasant 
predicament the best way he could. 

I enjoyed his discomfiture immensely, and, turning to him 
with all the dignity I could command, I demanded his name. 
This, with very evident reluctance, he at length gave me, and 
making him a stiff bow, I said, in a quiet but threatening man- 
ner, " I will see you again about this matter, sir," as I walked 
out of the office. 

My Sex suspected. 

In spite of my bravado, however, this incident gave me a 
great deal of uneasiness, for I saw that I was in a dangerous 
predicament, and was liable at any moment to get into further 
trouble. I was not much surprised, therefore, although greatly 
disgusted, when the next evening I was again arrested, this 


time on sns];f!cion of being a woman. Now what I had so long 
dreaded was come to pass, and there was nothing to do but 
to get out of the difficulties which environed me the best way 
I could. 

Being taken before Mayor Monroe, I was interrogated by 
that individual in a style that I did not at all admire. It seemed 
to me that he was assuming a certain lordliness of manner 
that did not sit gracefully upon him, and that was entirely 
uncalled for by the exigencies of the occasion. 

^[y replies to the queries of the mayor were not satisfactory 
to him, for his very imperious and pompous bearing made me 
angry, and rather put me on my mettle. He consequently 
chose to assmne that I was a woman, and ordered me to change 
my apparel. 

I, however, was resolved not to give up without a severe 
contest, having made up my mind, on assuming male attire, 
not to acknowledge my sex except in the last extremity, 
and for the sake of securing ends that could not otherwise be 
accomplished. So, turning to Mr. Monroe, I said, with a dig- 
nified severit}" quite equal to his own, " Sir, prove that I am a 
woman ; it will be quite time, when you do that, for you to 
give me an order to change my dress." 

The Mayor puzzled. 

This rather disconcerted the mayor and his satellites ; and, 
watching their countenances closely, I saw that they were 
nonplussed, and were doubtful how to proceed, being uncer- 
tain whether or not they had made a mistake. My hopes of a 
prompt discharge, however, were doomed to disappointment, 
for the mayor, after a brief consultation, decided to remand 
me to the calaboose, until it should be settled to his satisfac- 
tion who I was, and whether I was a man or a woman. To 
the calaboose I accordingly went, horrified at being subjected 
to such an indignity, and with anything but pleasant or friendly 
feelings towards the mayor, and the meddlesome, prying busy- 
bodies who had been instrumental in getting me into this 

The circumstances of the case having, in the mean time, 
become generally known, I was visited the next morning by a 
local reporter, who showed a very eager desire to find out all 
he could about me, for the purpose of writing a sensational 
article for the paper with which he was connected. As may 

6EnY::uRG college | 

I Gettysburg, Pa. J 


be imagined, this sort of thing did not increase my amiability, 
or tend to make me bear my misfortunes in a philosophical 
spirit. I gave Mr. Reporter very little satisfaction, shaping 
my conversation with him with a view of inducing him to 
believe that a great mistake had been committed, and that I 
was the victim of a very unjust persecution. 

The reporter was troublesome, but I was not alarmed at 
him, as I was at my next visitor. Dr. Root, of the Charity Hos- 
pital. This gentleman, I knew, would be much more difficult 
to deal with ; and before he got through with questioning me, 
I was convinced, from his manner, that his mind was made up 
with regard to me. I felt sure that the easiest and best 
method, indeed, the only method I could safely adopt, was 
to confess frankly to the mayor that I was really a woman, 
trusting that this fact being settled in a manner satisfying 
to his magisterial dignity, he would have no further pretext 
for keeping me in confinement, and would order my release. 

I therefore wrote a note to his honor, requesting a private 
interview. This request he granted, and without any more 
equivocation I told him who I was, and gave him what I hoped 
would be satisfactory reasons for assuming the garb I wore. 
My confession having been made, I next endeavored to treat 
with the mayor for an immediate release, promising to leave 
the city so soon as liberated, my idea being to return to mili- 
tary life forthwith, as I had had quite enough of New Orleans 
for the present. 

A Fine and Imprisonment. 

Mr. Monroe, however, having gotten me in his clutches, 
was not disposed to let me go so easily, and he said that he 
would be compelled to fine me ten dollars, and to sentence 
me to ten days' imprisonment — a decision that did not increase 
my good oj^inion of him, for absolutely nothing had been 
brought up against my character or my conduct, and I could 
not, and do not now, see the justice or propriety of such a 

I thought that this was pretty rough treatment, considering 
all that I had done to serve the Confederacy. From the out- 
break of the war I had been on active duty in the face of the 
enemy, and had taken part in some of the hardest fought bat- 
tles in the war, while my persecutor had remained at home 
enjoying his ease, and taking good care to keep out of danger. 
To prove this to him, as I could easily have done by procur- 


ing testimonials from my numerous friends in the army, would 
have ruined all my hopes and expectations for the future, 
however, for, in spite of my present unpleasant situation, I 
was resolved not to give the thing up. So I concluded that 
the best plan was to suffer in silence, and to allow the mayor 
to have what satisfaction he could get out of my ten dollars — 
I Avonder if any of it went into the city treasury ? — and oiit 
of keeping me incarcerated for ten days. 

Resolving to be as patient as I could, and to be even with 
Mr. Monroe some day, if ever a good opportunity presented 
itself, I consoled myself with the idea that my term of im- 
prisonment was a short one, and would soon be over. I was 
dreadfully tired of it, however, before the hour of release 
arrived ; and each day m}'^ indignation at such an unwarranted 
outrage increased. The more I thought over the matter the 
less was I able to see that there was any valid reason for my 
being subjected to such treatment. At length, after long and 
impatient waiting, I was free once more ; and now the problem 
was to get out of New Orleans as quickly as possible, before 
I was recognized by too many people, and in such disguise 
that I would be able to follow the bent of my inclinations 
without hinderance. 

Exactly how to manage this, I had some difficulty in deter- 
mining ; but as the situation was a somewhat desperate one, I 
was ready to resort to a desperate measure to accomplish my 
ends. I felt sure that once more with the army I would be 
safe ; but, with so many suspicious people watching me, it 
would be, I knew, extremely difficult to get away as I had 
come, and to enter upon my old career as an independent, 
without questioning or hinderance. It was therefore necessary 
for me to smuggle myself, so to speak, among the soldiers again, 
and I hit upon an expedient for doing so, which, although I 
felt that it was risky, I resolved to try, and to take my chances 
for getting out of a new difficulty in case I should fall into one. 

I Enlist. 

As soon as possible, therefore, after obtaining my release, I 
proceeded to the recruiting office at the corner of Jefferson 
and Chatham Streets, and enlisted in Captain B. Moses' com- 
pany, of the twenty-first Louisiana regiment. The next day 
we started for Fort Pillow, to join the balance of the regiment. 

In this manner I contrived to get clear of New Orleans, but, 


as I had no fancy for going on duty as a private soldier any 
longer than was absolutely necessary, although the regiment 
of which I was a member was as gallant a one as ever went 
into battle, and my comrades were, most of them, pleasant, 
agreeable fellows, my next thought was to resume my inde- 
pendent footing at the earliest moment. I therefore went 
privately to General Villipigue, and, showing my commis- 
sion, told a plausible story to account for my enlistment, and 
asked him to give me employment as an officer. The officers 
and men of the regiment, of course, knew notliing of my being 
in possession of this document, or of my previous history. 
General Villipigue was not able to do anything for me, as 
there were no vacancies, and I therefore applied for a trans- 
fer to the army of East Tennessee, and was very cheerfully 
granted it. 

This was the first time I had ever been regularly mustered 
into the service, and the step was taken, not from choice, but 
for the purpose of escaping from the surveillance of Mayor 
Monroe and the Provost Marshal, two individuals whom, after 
a very brief acquaintance, I did not particularly care to know 
more intimately. I had many regrets in parting from the 
officers and men of the twenty -first regiment, whom I had 
learned to like very much in the short time I had been with 
them, but I felt that my interests demanded a removal to 
another locality. Consequently, so soon as I received my pa- 
pers, I said adieu to my new. friends, and was ofi" with all pos- 
sible speed. 

I was not in a very happy frame of mind, and my physical 
condition, was scarcely better than my mental. The occur- 
rences of the weeks that had just passed had not been of the 
most pleasurable character, and my personal difficulties in New 
Orleans, coming as they did when I had not recovered from 
the mental and bodily suffering caused by the contest at Fort 
Donelson, did not have the effect of making me view life from 
its bright side. After the episode of a ten days' sojourn in 
prison, however, it was a great relief for me to feel that I had 
my destiny in my own hands once more ; and at the prospect 
of again entering upon a life of adventure that would ajSbrd 
me opportunities for winning distinction, my spirit rose, and I 
was disposed to dismiss the past, with all its unpleasantnesses, 
and to make a fresh start with all the energy I could command. 



Again at Memphis. — Public and private Difficulties. — Future Prospects. 

— Arrival of my Negro Boy and Baggage from Grand Junction. — A 
new uniform Suit. — Prepared once more to face tlie World. — I fall 
in with an old Friend. — An Exchange of Compliments. — Late Hours. 

— Some of the Effects of Late Hours. — Confidential Communications. 

— The Course of true Love runs not smooth. — I renew my Acquaint- 
ance with General Lucius M. Polk. — The General disposed to be 
friendly. — My Friend and I call on his Lady-love and her Sister. — 
Surprising Behavior of the young Lady. — A genuine Love-letter. — 
A Secret disclosed. — Incidents of a Buggy Ride. — A Declaration of 
Love. — Lieutenant H. T. Buford as a Lady-killer. — Why should 
Women not pop the Question as well as Men ?■ — 'A melancholy Dis- 
closure for my Friend. — I endeavor to encourage him. — A Visit to 
the Tiieatre and an enjoyable Evening. — I meet a Friend from New 
Orleans, and endeavor to remove any Suspicions with regard to my 
Identity from his Mind. — Progress of my Love-affair with Miss M. — 
The young Lady and I have our Pictures taken. — I proceed to 
Corinth for the Purpose of taking Part in the expected Battle. — The 
Confederate Army advances from Corinth towards Pittsburg Landing. 

lAVING secured my transportation and trans- 
fer papers, I went to Memphis by the first 
boat, and was erelong once again at my 
original starting-point, but in a much less 
enviable mood than when I had last visited 
it. Then I was dissatisfied with the way 
in which things seemed to be going, and especially 
with the — as it appeared to me — very unnecessary 
and vexatious difficulties that presented themselves 
whenever I attempted to secure such a position as 
would enable me to labor with the most efficiency. My con- 
fidence in the sacredness of the cause, in the ability of the 
Southern armies to sustain it, and its ultimate triumph, were, 
however, unliroken, notwithstanding that I believed precious 
time was being wasted, and that, through a mistaken policy, 
the Confederates were compelled to stand upon the defensive, 



when they ought to have assumed the aggressive, and attacked 
the enemy on his own ground. 

Now, however, things had changed. The terrible disaster at 
Fort Donelson had been a rude blow to my ideas of Southern 
invincibility in the field, and if it did not induce me to despair, 
it certainly opened my eyes to the magnitude of the task we 
had on hand, and compelled me to recognize the fact, that we 
were contending with a resolute and powerful enemy, whose 
resources were enormously superior to ours, and who was 
evidently bent upon crushing us to the earth, and compelling 
us to submit to his dictation. All the fine dreams of the 
previous summer were dissipated into thin air, but there 
still remained the consolation, that during the bitter struggle 
yet to come, there would doubtless be plenty of opportunities 
for me to serve the cause with efficiency, and to win personal 
glory by my performances. 

I had a certain grim satisfaction, too, in thinking that, as 
things were going, my ambition to do some genuine hard 
work would scarcely be so lightly regarded in certain quar- 
ters as it had been, and that my zeal would consequently be 
recognized and rewarded as I thought that it deserved 
to be. 

Difficulties of my Position. 

Apart altogether from the disappointments incident to the 
military situation, were my private difficulties. My sex had 
been discovered ; and notwithstanding my motives for assum- 
ing male attire, and my exemplary conduct while doing a 
soldier's duty, I had been subjected to gross indignities, 
simply because I chose to perform a man's, rather than a 
woman's work. This galled me, especially as my secret having 
once been revealed, it would now be more than ever difficult 
for me to figure successfully as a man, and I knew that I 
would constantly be in danger of detection. 

Notwithstanding this, however, I was undismayed, and was 
resolved upon carrying out my original programme, so far as 
was practicable, and only sought a field of operations where I 
would be able to follow the bent of my inclinations with as 
little probability as possible of being interfered with. 

Having accomplished my object in leaving New Orleans, 
and of maintaining a masculine appearance in doing so, I was 
encouraged to believe that I would be able, by a little discreet 
management, to get along without a repetition of the troubles 


I had encountered in that city, that in the sharp fighting 
about to occur between the contending armies, I would be 
able to show my qualities as a soldier to even greater 
advantage than hitherto, and that amid the excitements of 
the battle-field and the camp I would forget, or at least 
cease to think about, the unpleasant things of the past. 

So soon as I arrived at Memphis, I telegraphed to Grand 
Junction for my baggage and my servant, and then went to 
the tailor, and giving him an order for an officer's uniform suit, 
with instructions to have it ready at the earliest possible 
moment, borrowed from him a coat to wear until my new 
clothing should be ready. I discarded my soldier's jacket 
with quite as much satisfaction as had inspired me on assum- 
ing it, and prepared myself to wait, with what equanimity I 
could command, the moment when I might be able to figure 
once more in the eyes of both sexes as the dashing young 
independent, Lieutenant Harry T. Buford. Clothing, and 
particular cuts of clothing, have a great deal to do towards 
making us all, men or women, appear what we would like the 
world to take us for ; and as, although my borrowed coat 
answered a temporary purpose very well, it did not show me 
off to the best advantage, I resolved to keep out of sight as 
much as possible until the tailor had executed his task. I was 
really not sorry for an opportunity to shut myself up for a 
day or two, so that I could take a thorough rest, and think, 
without being interrupted, what was the best plan of action 
for the immediate future. 

My Negro Boy Bob. 

The next night, about eleven o'clock, my faithful boy Bob 
arrived with my baggage, and was delighted to see me again, 
although my haggard appearance evident!}'- surprised and 
shocked him. Poor fellow ! He little knew what I had passed 
through since I had parted with him. 

" Why, Mas' Harry," he said, " you do look dreadful bad. 
Has you been sick? " 

" Yes, Bob," I replied. " I have been quite ill since I left 
you, but I am getting quite well now, and am ready to go for 
the Yankees again." 

Bob's eyes sparkled at this, for he was beginning to love 
fighting almost as much as myself, although the experiences 
of Fort Donelson had served to extinguish a good deal of the 


martial ardor that was burning in his heart. I told him 
enough about my movements since I had seen him last to 
gratify his curiosity, and to enable him to make satisfactory 
answers in case any one should question him ; and then, 
giving him orders to call a hack, we drove to the Gegora 
House, where I took rooms, and prepared to have as good a 
time as circumstances would permit. 

In Uniform again. 

My new uniform suit was ready at the appointed time, and 
I hastened to array myself in it. Making my toilet with more 
than usual care, and rearranging my mustache and imperial, 
which had become somewhat demoralized of late, I took a 
cane in hand, and strolled out to see what was to be seen, not 
without a little trepidation, but feeling, on the whole, better 
satisfied with myself and with things in general than I had 
done for a long time. 

After stepping in and out of a number of the principal 
saloons and drinking-places, I finally came across a friend 
whom I was really very glad to meet. This was Lieutenant 
Philip Hastings, a whole-souled fellow, for whom I had an 
especial liking, and whom I accordingly greeted with great 
cordiality. Hastings returned my greeting in an equally 
cordial manner. Shaking me by the hand, he said, " I am glad 
to see you, old fellow. What is the good news with you? 
Where are you from ? " 

'' I am just fiom the Gulf City," I replied, 

" Ah," said he ; " what is there new there ? Did you have 
a good time ? I suppose you were on a leave of absence." 

" 0, yes," said I ; '' I always manage to have a pretty good 
time wherever I go." 

A DELICATE Subject. 

Said Hastings, looking at me sharply, " I see you have 
been raising a new crop of mustaches." 

I am afraid that I smiled in a rather sickly manner at this ; 
but putting on as bold an air as I could command, I gave the 
ornaments of my upper lip a twist, to let him see that they 
were on tight, and said, " Yes, I have been letting them rush 
a little ; the girls tell me they are an improvement." 

Hastings then asked me where I was going ; and I replied, 


that I expected to join Beauregard's army, but tliat my plans 
were a little uncertain, as I was unfortunately an independent, 
who belonged nowhere in particular ; and that, as the com- 
manding officers were getting so confoundedly strict with 
regard to a good many things, while they were not half strict 
ent)ugh about others of more consequence, I was not sure 
where I would bring up. I added, that I was at present in 
the detective corps, and offered to serve him in any way in 
my power. He thanked me ; and then I asked him how he 
was getting along, and what time he had been stationed in 

Ho informed me that he had been on duty there about three 
months, but that he expected to be ordered to the front very 

After a little more conversation of this sort, Hastings said, 
" I am trying to marry a mighty pretty girl here, but I don't 
somehow get along with her as well as I could wish. She is 
a good girl, just as good as they get to be, and she has a 
deucedly pretty sister, about fifteen years of age, who I 
think would suit you. They are not rich, but they are mighty 
nice, and I Avould like to introduce you." 

" Well, Phil," said I, " I am willing — anything to pass the 
time pleasantly," 

" Well, let's take a drink," said Hastings, " and we will go 
and see them." 

After visiting Hours. 

Hastings had been taking something before I met him, and 
as I had treated just after we met, this additional drink had 
the eflect of making him rather livelier than the law allowed. 
He took a brandy smash, and a full-sized one, while I, accord- 
ing to custom, drank cider. Then lighting our cigars, we 
strolled down the street, my companion bent on making the 
proposed call. I knew, however, that it must be past visiting 
hours, and, stopping under a lamp-post, pulled out my watch, 
and, glancing at it, asked him if he knew what time it was. 

" 0, it's not late," said he ; " about eleven o'clock ; they 
won't be gone to bed yet." 

I showed him the dial of the watch, and he exclaimed, 
" Thunder and lightning ! Why, it's one o'clock." 

Notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, however, he was 
very much disposed to insist on going to see the ladies, but 


finally I succeeded in persuading him of the impropriety of 
such a course, although he yielded very unwillingly. He 
then wanted to go and make a night of it somewhere ; and on 
my refusing, started off by himself, I being unable to induce 
him to go home and get in bed. I did, however, talk him 
into letting me take charge of his money, with the exception 
of his small change, and on the plea that I had promised to 
meet a friend at the hotel, contrived to get away from him. 
I disliked very much to let Phil go off by himself in the con- 
dition he was in, but as he was just enough under the influence 
of what he had imbibed to be troublesome, and was bent upon 
having what he called, some fun, my own safety demanded 
that I should leave him. My New Orleans experience had 
been a severe one, and it was much too fresh in my memory 
for me to be Avilling to run any unnecessary risks of being 
arrested on similar charges in Memphis, especially as I felt 
certain that it would not be so easy to get out of the clutches 
of the authorities a second time, while my future prospects 
would, in all probability, be irreparably damaged. So, cau- 
tioning my friend to take good care of himself, I went back 
to the hotel as fast as I could, and was soon asleep. 

Misplaced Affection. 

The next morning Phil came around to the hotel to claim 
his money, which amounted to over two thousand dollars in 
Confederate bills. He did not look as fresh as he might have 
done if he had followed the good advice I gave him the night 
before, was in a somewhat repentent mood, and, as people 
when feeling rather badly through their own indiscretion are 
apt to feel, he was very confidential about a variety of private 
afia,irs. During our conversation that morning, he told me 
any number of his secrets, and especially gave me to under- 
stand that matters were not going as well as could be wished 
between him and his lady-love. I had a fancy that the young 
lady was, perhaps, offended at something he had said or done 
while a little under the influence of liquor, and tried to con- 
sole him and to encourage him, by offering to aid him in any 
way I could towards straightening matters out. I little sus- 
pected what the real difficulty was, or I, perhaps, would not 
have been so ready in offering my assistance. Alas, poor 
Phil I his affections Avere bestowed in the wi-ong direction, 
but he lived in hope that things would finally shape them- 


selves according to his wishes, and he confidently expected 
that in time he would be able so to soften the lady's heart 
towards him, that she would accept his hand. His dreams 
of happiness, however, were cut short in an untimely manner, 
for 1 saw him fall, while fighting bravely, about two weeks 
subsequently, at the head of his company, at the battle of 

Phil took breakfast with me, and after our meal was de- 
spatched, we went to a livery stable, and, obtaining a couple 
of horses, rode out to camp. I dined with him about four 
o'clock, and then we rode leisurely back to town, and went up 
to my room, where we smoked and chatted until supper- 

On going into the supper-room, I noticed that the eyes of a 
number of people whom I knew, and especially of several 
ladies by whom I was in some little fear of being recognized, 
were fixed upon me. I, however, gave my mustaches a 
savage twist, and putting on as manly a swagger as I was 
able to command, determined to brave all consequences. 

I MEET General L. M. Polk again. 

My old friend. General Lucius M. Polk, was seated at one 
of the tables, and I took a seat which brought me nearly back 
to back with him. He did not notice me when I came in, and 
I did not care to intrude myself upon him, so did nothing to 
attract his attention. Soon, however, I said to Hastings, 
pointing to an old lady in another part of the room, " Lieu- 
tenant, there is one of the ladies who were in the habit of 
visiting Camp Beauregard when I was doing provost duty 
on the train." 

When General Polk heard this, he evidently recognized a 
familiar voice, and turning round, shook hands with me very 

" Excuse me, general," said I, " but I did not see you when 
I came in." 

" When did you arrive ? " said the general. 

" Last evening," I replied. 

" Where are you from ? " 

" From New Orleans." 

" Is there anything new ? " 

" No ; matters are pretty much as usual. Is there anything 
new in camp? " 

190 Phil's sweetheaet and hee sister. 

" "Well," said the general, " we are expecting to have anoth- 
er battle before long." 

" Then," said I, " I am just in time." 

" Yes, if you want to have a hand in it," he said. " Are 
you going out ? " 

" Probably day after to-morrow," I replied. 

" I go at ten o'clock this evening," said the general ; 
and then, turning to the lady with him, he said, " Permit me 
to introduce you to Mrs. Polk." 

I introduced Hastings to the general and his wife, and after 
a little chat with them, they said good by, and left the room. 
Hastings and I finished our supper, and then strolled into the 
bar-room and lighted our cigars. 

He was now impatient to have me go with him to call on 
his girl ; so I took his arm, and we sauntered down the street 
together in the direction of the house which contained the 
object of his adoration. We stood on the corner for a little 
while until we had finished our smoke, and then went up to 
the front door, where Phil rang the bell. 

A Social Call. 

I always felt a little timorous and unpleasant when com- 
pelled to play the role I had undertaken, in a social way, 
among members of my own sex ; and whether because of my 
recent adventure in New Orleans, or for some other cause, I 
felt unusually reluctant to make the acquaintance of Phil's 
lady friends. Had I then suspected all that I found out 
afterwards, I would have been even more dubious about the 
propriety of permitting myself to be introduced. 

We took our seats in the parlor, and soon the two young 
ladies made their appearance. I was introduced ; and as I 
could see that Hastings desired to converse with Miss M., I 
undertook to make myself as agreeable as possible to Miss 
E. We did not get along very well together, however, for 
she was very shy and bashful, while I was far from feeling at 
my ease, and was conscious of not distinguishing myself very 
greatly as a lady's man. 

After a little while, as our conversation was not very enliv- 
ening, Miss E., apparently as much to break the monotony of 
the performance as anything else, went out, and returned 
shortly with a servant girl bearing a waiter of apples. This 
brought the other couple out of the corner where they had 

Cupid's pranks. 191 

been sitting and conversing in a low tone, and the four of us 
amused ourselves by eating apples and telling fortunes with 
the seeds. This appeared to afford some amusement to the 
other three, but 1 found it rather dull entertainment, and 
heartily wished that the evening was over. Phil, however, 
was so wrapped up with his lady, that he was in no hurry to 
go ; but somehow Miss M. did not appear to fancy him by any 
means as much as he did her, and before a great while they 
had quite a falling out, and she addressed her conversation 
chiefly to me, and seemed to have taken quite a liking to me. 
I was not a little surprised at the warmth of her manner, but 
supposed that she was merely trying to provoke Phil by a 
little coquetry, and never imagined for an instant that there was 
anything serious in it all. 

Unexpected Cordiality. 

"When we arose to leave, Miss M. was scarcely polite to 
Phil, but she looked at me in a very bewildering way ; and 
squeezing my hand a little more than our brief acquaintance 
warranted, gave me a most pressing invitation to call again. 

As we walked up the street, Phil asked me how I was 
pleased, and then told me all about his falling out with his 
girl. She, it seems, had insisted, with considerable vehemence, 
that she did not, could not, and Avould not, love him, and he 
was very much disposed to think, from what she said, and 
from the manner in which she behaved, that some other fellow 
was cutting him out. He little imagined that his friend, 
Harry T. Buford, was the innocent and unsuspecting cause 
of his troubles. I tried to cheer him up as well as I could, 
and then we parted, he to get his horse for a night ride to 
camp, and I to go to bed at the hotel. 

A Secret revealed. 

The next day I received two letters, one of which was from 
my future husband ; for, gentle reader, all these months that, in 
a guise of a man, I had been breaking young ladies' hearts by 
my fascinating figure and manner, my own woman's heart 
had an object upon which its affections were bestowed, and I 
w^as engaged to be married to a truly noble officer of the 
Confederate army, who knew me, both as a man and as a 
woman, but who little suspected that Lieutenant Harry T. 

192 Phil's misfortune. 

Buford, and his intended wife, were one and the same person. 
By this letter, 1 learned that my lover was then at Corinth, 
where I expected to meet him in a few days, and my heart 
jumped for joy at the idea of beings able to fight by his side in 
the battle that was coming off. This I was determined to do, 
if the thing could be managed. 

Under the influence of the pleasurable emotions excited by 
this letter, and the prospect of again seeing the man I loved 
after a separation of many months, I wrote a note to the two 
young ladies I had visited the night before, inviting them to go 
buggy-riding, I then went to the bank and drew some money, 
and on my return to the hotel, found an acceptance from my 
lady friends. 

I accordingly hired a couple of teams, one for Hastings, 
and one for myself; but on arriving at the house, much to 
Phil's disgust. Miss M. would not go with him, and he took her 
sister, while his lady, with great apparent satisfaction, seated 
herself in my vehicle. I felt for him, for I knew that he was 
terribly disappointed ; and with a just received love-letter of 
my own in my pocket, I was more appreciative of his emotions 
than I probably otherwise would have been, and made an at- 
tempt towards effecting another arrangement. Phil, however, 
put on a careless air, as if it were all one to him which girl he 
had, and tipping me a wink, said that he was satisfied as 
things were. 

When we got started, I said to Miss M., " I am afraid I am 
interfering with my friend's pleasure." 

" 0," said she, '' it's all right. I don't belong to him. He 
is mad with me, and I don't care if he never gets pleased 

" You must be mistaken," I said. " I know that he thinks 
a great deal of you, and he would not offend you for the 
world. You oughtn't to be hurt at his brusque manner 
sometimes, for it's just a way he has, and he don't mean any- 
thing by it." 

" I don't care what his manner is," she put in, rather tartly, 
" for I don't love him, and wish that he wouldn't bother me." 

A GOOD Word for a Friend. 

This induced me to think that I could put in a good word 
for Hastings, and, perhaps, soften the heart of the lady towards 
him. I accordingly began to set forth all his good qualities 


in tlio liost liglit, and to try and persuade her that it was worth 
while to win the affections of" such a tine fellow. 

So soon as slie fairly comprehended what my meaning- was, 
she Avould not let me proceed; saying, " It's no use of talking 
to me about Lieutenant Hastings. 1 cannot love him, for I am 
in love witli another man, and would give anything in the 
world if I could only possess his heart." 

I thought that this was getting to be rather more confiden- 
tial than there was any necessity for, considering our short 
acquaintance ; and had I been a man, I suppose it would have 
been quite the proper thing for me to have become embar- 
rassed. As things were, however, I was rather amused at the 
idea of the young lady undertaking to reveal the state of her 
affections in such an explicit manner, but never suspected 
what she was really driving at. I fancied that she was merely 
trying to draw me out for the purpose of seeing what I would 
say to her, and thought that her real object, after all, was to 
stimulate Phil's affections by making him a little jealous. 
Women, as I have more means than one of knowing, are in the 
habit of playing just such little tricks as these, and it is as- 
tonishing what luck they have in making them succeed. 

After considering a moment what I had better say in reply 
to Miss M.'s bit of confidential communication, I asked if I 
knew the fortunate individual who had made the conquest of 
her affections. 

" Yes," she replied, looking at me out of the corners of her 
eyes, and then bashfully dropping her eyelids, and doing her 
best to blush. 

" Well," said I, " if you will tell me his name, I will try and 
find out for you what his feelings are. Perhaps if I give him 
a hint that a nice girl is in love with him, he will try and make 
himself agreeable." 

A Revelation. 

She hesitated, sighed, bit her lips, made a desperate attempt 
at blushing, and finally murmured, in what was evidently in- 
tended to be a sweet, low, and very touching tone of voice, 
" I will tell you his initials ; " and then, after a moment's hesi- 
tation, " They are H. T. B." 

Before this came out, I was beginning to understand from 

what direction the wind was blowing; and when this very 

broad hint was given, I could scarcely contain myself from 

laughing outright, the situation was so supremely ridiculous, 



I manag-ed, however, to keep a straight face, and feeling a 
real sympathy for Phil, and an anxiety to make matters all 
right for him if I could, I pretended not to understand wlio 
the fortunate one could be, and said, " Where does he live ? 
Is he an officer? " 

" 0, yes," she answered, " and one of tlie sweetest, hand- 
somest fellows that ever lived. He stops at one of the most 
fashionable hotels." 

I felt immensely flattered at this, as may be conceived, bitt 
could not help thinking that, however entertaining it might be 
to mo, it "was awful rough on Hastings. I still, however, pre- 
tended that I could not understand, the lady all the while 
"wondering, doubtless, what made me so confoundedly obtuse; 
and after pretending for a few moments to be guessing, I finally 
said, " Well, I'll give it up ; I don't know who it can be." 
And then, as if a bright idea had just struck me, added, "0, 
here, just "\vrite his name in my diary, if you are too bashful 
to tell me." 

I accordingly handed her the book and a pencil, and she 
"wrote my name, and handed it back, blushing more furiously 
than ever, 

I read the name ; and pretending to be astonished, and 
dreadfully shocked, exclaimed, " 0, this cannot be possible ! " 

" Yes," said she, '' you are the object of my affections, and 
have been for a long time, and I am determined not to love 
any one else." 

This "was rushing the thing rather stronger than I thought 
there was any occasion for ; and wondering what on earth the 
girl meant, I asked, ^' Since when have I been the object of 
your affections? I have only been acquainted with you since 
last night." 

" I have loved 3'ou ever since last November, when I saw 
you in the cars. We were strangers then, but I have been 
longing ever siiice for an opportunity to make your acquaint- 

I began to wonder how many more susceptible feminine 
hearts I had unwittingly conquered during my military con- 
ductorship ; but thinking still of Phil's misfortune, I asked her 
"whether she had ever told him of all this. 

She replied that she had, but that, not knowing my name, 
she was unable to inform him who his rival w^as, although she 
had informed him that there was a rival. 

Here, thought I, was a nice mess ; and I scarcely kne"w 


wlictlicr to be amused or disgusted at the perversity of Fate, 
which made me such an irresistible lady-killer. MissM. was evi- 
dently dead in earnest, and was a nice, attractive-looking, and 
real good girl, who would have made Phil a capital wile. As 
ibr her forwardness in letting me know the state of her affec- 
tions for me, I could not blame her for that ; for I had adopted 
a similar expedient in my own case, and considered that, al- 
though it is, as a rule, a man's place to make the first ad- 
vances, there is no good reason why a woman who is in love 
with a man should not take measures to let him know the fact. 
The conventionalities of society are not always based on rea- 
son and common sense, and even where they have a rationalistic 
basis, people are very apt to quibble about very immaterial 
points, to the neglect of really weighty matters. 

A Question op Propriety. 

In the relations of the sexes, there are many points which 
society insists upon for the sake of the proprieties, which are 
absolutely absurd when tested by any common-sense standard, 
Avhile permitting a laxity of manners in others that is far from 
being conducive to good morals or to the general happiness. 
Many a woman has lost a good husband through a false mod- 
esty^ which would not permit her to even give him a hint with 
regard to her real feelings ; for some of the best and most 
whole-souled men are frequently as timid and bashful as the 
most timid and bashful women, and require some encourage- 
ment before they can be induced to speak ; while others are 
strangely obtuse, and do not even think of being anything 
more than commonly polite to particular ladies, unless some- 
thing is done to stimulate them. Such backward and thick- 
witted men are often the most ardent lovers, and the fondest 
and best of husbands when they are once aroused. Many a 
woman, too, is fond of one man while she is being persistently 
courted by another; and if, as is apt to be the case, the object 
of her regards refuses to notice her in the manner she wishes, 
— perhaps simply because he does not like to interfere with 
another man's love affair, — she has no resource, if she hopes 
for a happy future, but to declare herself There was, there- 
fore, no occasion for censuring Miss M. ; but the fact that Phil's 
rival happened to be, of all people in the world, Lieutenant 
Harry T. Buford, C. S. A., certainly complicated the situation. 

I could not resist the temptation to have a little sport at the 


expense of Miss M. ; but I was really desirous of trying so to 
manage matters that Phil would be placed in a better position 
with his lady than before. I knew that the worst thing I 
could do would be to repel her advances, and concluded that 
it was incumbent upon me to at least meet her half way. As 
she still continued to address me with some degree of for- 
mality as Lieutenant, or Mr. Buford, I — giving her an ogle that 
was intended to be very sympathetic, and to indicate how 
profoundly my feelings had been wrought upon- — suggested 
that she should call me Harry, This was said in a very tender 
tone, and evidently made a great impression. During the bal- 
ance of the ride we exchanged confidences in a very lover- 
like manner, and by the time we reached home again, Miss M. 
was in a very happj'' state of mind, being convinced that she 
had made a conquest of the man she had so long sighed for. 
It was all very absurd, of course, and very melancholy from a 
certain point of view; but I could not help being amused, al- 
though I wished myself well out of the scrape, and resolved to 
inform Phil how matters stood immediately. 


Having returned our teams to the livery stable, I invited 
him to my room, and having settled ourselves for a smoke, I 
disclosed the whole situation to him. He was very much sur- 
prised, and a good deal cut up by what I told him, and said 
Miss M. had often spoken to him of another officer for whom 
she had an aff"ection, but that he had never imagined that it 
was I. 

I told him that I was quite as much surprised as himself, 
and that I certainly should not have called upon the lady had 
I known what was going to happen. 

Phil paced up and down the room a good deal agitated ; and 
at length he burst out with, "Well, now, lieutenant, ain't 
women d — d deceitful things anyhow? but I shan't mind being 
gone back on in this way very long. I will leave for the field 
in a few days, and I will try and forget her, and, in the mean- 
time, I will not call without your consent." 

" 0, pshaw," said I ; " I am not in love with the girl, Has- 
tings, and I don't expect to be. I have no intention of marry- 
ing, and I don't propose to interfere with you in the least. So 
go ahead, and win the lady if you can, and I don't doubt but 
that you can, if you only try hard enough." 


" No," said Hastings, " I don't want to marry any girl who 
don't love me, or who has a lancy for another fellow." 

" Well, any how," I replied, " it is kind of pleasant, though, 
to have a nice place to pass one's leisure hours in, and you 
might as well visit Miss M,, even if you choose to give up 
the idea of marrying her, as there is, certainly, no necessity 
for your doing." 

The Expensiveness of Courtship. 

"But," said Phil, — and I could not help laughing at the 
sorrowful energy with which he made this declaration, — "a 
fellow has to make a girl so many little presents, and sliow her 
so many attentions, that the thing gets mighty expensive, un- 
less both parties mean business. It takes a sight of trouble to 
get into the good graces of some women, and then they are so 
fickle and uncertain, that it is impossible to tell when you have 
them safe. 

" Why," said he, warming with his subject, " women have 
cost me a small fortune, and I have had mighty little satisfac- 
tion with them ; " and then, lapsing into a reflective mood, 
added, " Why do men run after them, any how, when they so 
often regret it afterwards ? " This was a conundrum, for 
which he, apparently, found no satisfactory answer ; for, after 
a moment's pause, he said, " Well, I guess, it must be ordained, 
and we'll have to put up with it." 

This, I thought, was showing a proper philosophical spirit, 
even if it was not altogether complimentary to my sex ; so I 
said " Well, Phil, we ought not to complain about women 
being what they are ; we must always remember that our 
mothers were women." 

This appeared to touch Phil in a tender place ; for he said, 
in a softer tone, " That's so ; and God Almighty never made 
anything better than a real good woman. The good ones are 
better than the best of us men. If any man were to take ad- 
vantage of my sister I would kill him." 

I then suggested that he should not give it up with Miss M. 
yet, and promised to aid his cause with her as best I could. 
The result was, that Hastings was feeling a good deal better 
at the close of the conversation than at the beginning of it, 
and his little disappointment in love did not in the least pre- 
vent him from eating, and evidently enjoying immensely, a 
very hearty supper. 


While at supper, I proposed that we should go to the thea- 
tre, and take the girls. To this Phil readily assented, and 
Bob was accordingly despatched with an invitation. He 
soon returned, with an answer to the effect that the ladies 
would be most happy to accompany us. 

On our way to the theatre, Miss M. suggested that we should 
have our pictures taken, and gallantry would not permit me to 
refuse. So I made an engagement with her for the next day 
to go to the photographers. I had not seen a play for a long 
time, and consequently enjoyed the entertainment immensely ; 
and iDeing considerably more interested in it than in the young 
lady, Phil had no reason to complain of the warmth of my 
attentions to her. He tried to take advantage of the occasion 
to reinstate himself in her good graces, but I am sorry to say 
that he did not make much headway, and Miss M., much to his 
chagrin, persisted in manifesting a decided partiality for Lieu- 
tenant Buford. 

An Alarm. 

After the play was over we took the ladies home ; and I 
said good night to Hastings, who started for camp, while I re- 
turned to the hotel, where I found a note from my friend, 
Major Bacon, who was stopping at the Commercial Hotel. I 
accordingly went to call on him, and found that he had just 
arrived from New Orleans. This made me feel really uneasy, 
and I was not a little alarmed when he told me that he had 
heard of my arrest by the mayor. I was a trifle reassured, 
however, when I was unable to notice anything in his speech 
or manner to indicate that he believed me to be a woman ; 
and to quiet any suspicions that might be lurking in his mind, 
I said, as I twisted my mustache, and put on all the swagger 
I was able, *' I am a queer-looking female, ain't I, major ? " 
And then, to clinch the matter, I invited him to take a drink. 

The major replied '' Well, you might manage to pass for 
one, if you were to put on petticoats ; " but, rather to my 
astonishment, he did not seem to be particularly interested in 
the matter ; and as I was not especially anxious to make it a 
subject for conversation, we soon began to talk about some- 
thing else. 

The next day, in accordance with my promise, I went to the 
photographers with Miss M., and we had our pictures taken, 
and made an exchange. From that time, up to the date of my 
departure from Memphis, I was an almost daily visitor at her 


house, and was looked upon by her and her friends as an ac- 
cepted lover, although 1 certainly was not as explicit in my 
language on the subject of matrimony as accepted lovers are 
usually supposed to be under the necessity of being. On the 
contrary, 1 tried to put in a good word for Phil as often as I 
could, until I saw that it was no use pleading for him, as the 
young lady seemed to have taken an unconquerable aversion 
to him. That she should have discarded such a really worthy 
fellow for me was a source of serious annoyance to me ; and 
one reason why I kept up my acquaintance with her was, in 
the hope of doing liim a service. 

At length, all the officers in Memphis were ordered to pro- 
ceed to (_\irintli without delay, and then every one knew that 
a big battle was expected to come off shortly. As a conse- 
quence, the greatest excitement prevailed, and many of the 
oflicers found it hard work parting i'rom their friends. In order 
to avoid a scene with Miss M., 1 wrote her a note, bidding her 
farewell, which was not to be delivered until after 1 left the 
city; and, jumping aboard the train, was soon on my way to 

On arriving at Corinth, I found great preparations being 
made, and everything nearly ready for a forward movement. 
I met a considerable number of old friends, some of them old 
Virginia comrades, whom 1 had not seen for a very long time. 
We exchanged very cordial greetings, but otherwise we had 
not much time to give to each other, they having important 
duties to perform, while I was eagerly endeavoring to obtain 
some official position that would enable me to participate in 
the coming fight in a manner advantageous to m3'self. All 
the commanding officers, however, were too busy just then to 
attend to me ; and so I resolved to follow the army to the 
field in my independent capacity, and take m}^ chances there. 

The order to advance being given, the array moved out of 
Corinth in the direction of Pittsburg Landing, animated by the 
expectation of being able to fall upon the enemy, and deliver 
a crushing bloAV at a moment when it was least expected. 



A Surprise upon the Federal Army at Pittsburg Landing arranged. — A 
brilliant Victory expected. — I start for the Front, and encamp for the 
Night at Monterey. — My Slumbers disturbed by a Rain-storm. — I 
find General Hardee near Shiloh Church, and ask Permission to take a 
Hand in the Fight. — The Opening of the Battle. — Complete Surprise 
of the Federals. — I see my Arkansas Company, and join it. — A Lieu- 
tenant being killed, I take his Place, amid a hearty Cheer from the Men. 
— A Secret revealed. — I fight through the Battle under the Command 
of my Lover. — Furious Assaults on the Enemy's Lines. — The Bullets 
fly thick and fast. — General Albert Sydney Johnston killed. — End of 
the first Day's Battle, and Victory for the Confederates. — Beauregard's 
Error in not pursuing his Advantage. — I slip through the Lines after 
Dark, and watch what is going on at Pittsburg Landing. — The Gun- 
boats open Fire. — Unpleasant Effect of Shells from big Guns. — Utter 
Demoralization of the Federals. — Arrival of Buell with Re-enforce- 
ments. — General Grant and another general Officer pass near me in a 
Boat, and I am tempted to take a Shot at them. — I return to Camp, 
and wish to report what I had seen to General Bureaugard, but am dis- 
suaded from doing so by my Captain. — Uneasy Slumbers. — Com- 
mencement of the second Day's Fight. — The Confederates unable to 
contend with the Odds against them. — A lost Opportunity. — The 
Confederates defeated, and compelled to retire from the Field. — I 
remain in the Woods near the Battle-field all Night. 

X" ^..^ ^ ORT DONELSON was to be avenged. 

Alter the capture of that position, the 

^ \= Federals had swept in triumph through 
■= Tennessee, the Confederates having 
^^ ~Z been compelled to abandon their lines in 
M. that state and in Kentucky, and to seek 
-— J"-^ a new base of operations farther south. 
_ T The Federals were now concentrating 
jl HI great force at Pittsburg Landing, 
'''^' on the Tennessee River, their imme- 
diate object of attack evidently being 
i^ ^ Corinth, and General Albert Sydney 
Johnston, who was in command of the 
entire Confederate army, resolved 
upon striking a vigorous blow at once, with a view of turning 
the tide of victory in our favor before the enemy were as- 



sembled in sncli strcn_G;tli as to make it imperative fur lis to 
act ii[)i)ii the (lei'ensivo, and to fight behind eui- intrench- 
ments. The exj)eriences of more tlian one well-fought field 
had shown how well nigh irresistible the Confederate soldiers 
were in making an attack, and the general knew that it would 
be necessary for him to be the assailant, if he expected to get 
all the work out of his men they were able to do. 

The reports which we received from our scouts, and from 
the country people, indicated either tliat the Federals were 
unaware of the strength of the Confederates in their imme- 
diate neighborhood, or else that, flushed with victory, they 
were over-confident, and were taking comparatively few pre- 
cautions against a surprise. These things were the common 
talk of the Confederates for days before the battle took place ; 
and while not a little astonishment was expressed at the 
temerity of the enemy, considerable jubilation was felt at the 
idea of our being able to gain a comparatively easy victory, 
whicli would put an end to the invasion, or at least so stagger 
the Federals, that subsequent operations against them would 
be unattended Avitli any great difficulties. 

A Surprise in Preparation. 

We all kncAv that a surprise was to be attempted, and all 
felt confident of its success, although some hard fighting was 
expected before the rout of the Federals could be achieved. 
Hard fighting, however, was something from which the Con- 
federate soldiers did not shrink at any time, and on this 
occasion every one was anxious to repair the disaster of Fort 
Donelson, and to teach tlie enemy a lesson they would not be 
likely to forget in a hurry. 

At the prospect of a battle, and especially of a battle in 
which the chances of winning a brilliant victory would be on 
the side of the Confederates, 1 was as eager to participate, 
notwithstanding the severity of my recent experiences, as I 
was tlie first time I faced the enemy. If I thought of Fort 
Donelson, and the retreat of Johnston's army after tlie fall of 
that position, it was only with a desire to be revenged for the 
sulferings my brave comrades and myself had endured, and 
my .thoughts rather turned to Bull Run and Ball's Bluff, 
where Southern valor had so signally displayed itself, and 
wliere I had assisted in defeating tlie enemy, and in sending 
them flying, a routed and panic-stricken mob, from the field. 


My love for such excitement as only a g:reat battle can give, 
too, overpowered all lesser emotions, and my mortification at 
the indignities I had endured at the hands of Mayor jMonroe 
and his satellites in New Orleans, was overcome by the 
thought that, notwithstanding the fact that I was a woman, I 
was as good a soldier as any man around me, and as willing 
as any to fight valiantly and to the bitter end before yielding. 
The fighting blood of my ancestor, old Governor Don Diego, 
was making itself felt in my veins as 1 prepared 'to follow 
Hardee's corps to the scene of action with all possible expe- 

Off for the Field. 

Obtaining a pass from the provost marshal, I put my tent 
in an army wagon, and then Bob and I mounted our horses 
and started for the field, on Saturday, April 5. 1862. The 
roads were in a horrible condition from tlie lieavy spring rains, 
and we made rather slow progress, — much too slow for my 
impatient spirit, — and I was very tired wlien, at nightfall, I 
reached a village of half a dozen scattered houses called 
Monterey, about half way between Corinth and Shiloh Church, 
a little Methodist meeting-house, just outside the Federal 
picket lines. 

It was necessary for me to halt here until morning; so, ob- 
taining sufficient forage for my horse from a Mississippi regi- 
ment, I prepared to camp for the night, and hoped to get a 
sound sleep, to fit me for the hot work of the next day. 

The Night before the Battle op Shiloh. 

My animals having been fed, I took off the saddles, and 
raking up a quantity of leaves, arranged my bed by spreading 
a saddle blanket to lie upon, and placing a saddle for a pillow. 
Then throwing myself on this extemporized couch, I wrapped 
myself in an army blanket, and was soon lost in slumber as 
profound as would have visited me had my accommodations 
been of the most luxurious description. 

I was not destined, however, to have a quiet, uninterrupted 
slumber, such as I needed, for ere long I was awakened by 
the rain, which began to fall in torrents, and which compelled 
me to seek some more sheltered spot in which to finish the 
night. My first care Avas for my horse, and covering him well 
with the blanket, I went as fast as I could to one of the de- 


serted houses of the village, and stopped there until the rain 
was over. 

It was quite three o'clock before the shower ceased, and it 
was high time for me to be moving if I expected to take part 
in tlie opening of the battle, as 1 was exceedingly anxious to 
do. I tlierefore ordered the horses to be saddled, and was in 
a few moments ready to start. A soldier very generously 
offered me a cup of army coftee, which, although perhaps it 
was not quite equal in strength and flavor to some I had 
tasted in the best hotels, was swallowed with great relisli, and 
with many benedictions on the giver, whose courtesy I re- 
warded by a good-sized drink of brandy, from a flask I carried 
for the benefit of my friends. His eyes fairly sparkled with 
delight as he gulped it down, and he smacked his lips as if he 
had not had such a treat for many a day. Then mounting my 
horse, I set off at a smart pace for General Hardee's head- 

I found the general stationed near Shiloh Church, and rode 
up and saluted him just as he was mounting his horse. Show- 
ing him my pass, I said that I wanted to have a hand in this 
affair. Hardee looked at the pass,* and replied, " All riglit; 
fall in, and well see what can be done for you." 

Commencement of the Fight. 

The fighting had already commenced between the skir- 
mish lines of the two armies while I was conversing with 
the general, and the troops were hurrying forward to attack 
the Federals before they could gain time to prepare them- 
selves for an efl^"ective resistance. 

In obedience to Hardee's command, I fell in with his men, and 
we advanced briskly upon the enemy's camp. It was a complete 
surprise in every respect. Many of the enemy were only half 
dressed, and were obliged to snatch up the first weapons that 
came to hand as the Confederates rushed out of the woods 
upon them. The contest was brief and decisive, and in a few 
moments such of the enemy as escaped the deadly volleys 
which we poured into them were scampering away as fast as 
their legs could carry them. We took possession of their 
camp, with all its equipage, almost without resistance, and I 
thought that this was an excellent good beginning of the 
day's work, especially as I had the pleasure of eating a cap- 
ital hot breakfast, which had been prepared for some Federal 


officer. I enjoyed it immensely, for I was decidedly hungry 
after my early morning march, the cup of coffee tendered by 
my soldier friend not having proved as satisfactory as some- 
thing more substantial might have done. 

1 had scarcely finished eating when I came across General 
Hardee again. He was in a high good humor at the course 
events had taken thus far, and said to me, in a jocular sort of 
way, " Well, lieutenant, what can I do for you ? " 

I replied that I was anxious to do my share of the fighting, 
and wanted to be stationed where there was plenty of 
work to be done. 

The general laughed a little at my enthusiasm, but just then 
his attention was called away for a moment, and I, glancing 
down the line, spied the Arkansas boys whom I had enlisted 
at Hurlburt Station nearly a year before. I was immediately 
seized with a desire to go into the fight with them ; so I said, 
" Ah, there is my old company, general ; with your permis- 
sion, I will see the captain. Perhaps he can give me a 

I Rejoin my Arkansas Boys. 

Hardee nodded an assent, and, giving him a salute, I started 
off at full speed to the rear, where I got my commission out 
of my pocket, and then darted along the line, closely followed 
b}'- Bob, my idea being to avoid being stopped by giving the 
impression that I was bearing an order from the general. 
Dismounting from my horse, I forced my way through the 
ranks until I reached Captain De Caulp, who shook me heartily 
by the hand, and was evidently delighted to see me, as we 
had not met since I parted from him in Pensacola the previous 
June, when starting for Richmond. My pleasure at the inter- 
view, especially at meeting him again under such circum- 
stances as those I am describing, was of a very different and 
much more intense kind than his, for reasons that will appear 

It was no time then, however, to exchange compliments, for 
there was hot work before us if the brilliant successes of the 
first assaults upon the Federal position were to be followed 
up to a satisfactory issue. I therefore told Captain De Caulp 
that I was anxious to have a hand in the fight, and especially 
to go into the thing with this company, if it could be per- 
mitted, and asked him if he could not assign me to some duty. 
I spoke in such a way, and in a sufiiciently loud tone for the 


other officers and the men to understand that I belonged to 
the special corps, and was doing a share of the figliting just 
for the love of the thing. Some of them evidently did not 
know who I was, and were inclined to regard me as an in- 
truder ; for I heard a soldier beliind me say, " What little 
dandy is that ? " Some one replied, " Why, don't you know ? 
That's the fellow that raised the company," — a bit of infor- 
mation that undoubtedly raised me immensely in the estima- 
tion of the interrogator, as well as in that of others who had 
joined the company since I had left it. 

Among Old Friends. 

Notwithstanding the number of strange faces that met my eyes 
as I glanced along the ranks, I saw enough old acquaintances to 
make Ino foci very much at home, and I was delighted beyond 
measure in an opportunity to take part in a great battle along 
with my own company that I had raised over in the Arkansas 
swamp, that I had marched through New Orleans and Mobile 
in such gallant st3de, and that I had so astonished my late 
husband by appearing in Pensacola at the head of, and re- 
solved to prove myself worthy of them, and to show that, 
even if I was a little dandy, I was as good a soldier as the 
best of them when any hard fighting was to be done. In- 
deed, all the circumstances were such as to inspire me to dis- 
tinguish myself by some unusually gallant action, and I 
resolved that, if it were possible to do so, the occasion should 
be made a memorable one for us all. 

Captain De Caulp told me to remain with him, and to wait 
and see wliat would happen for my advantage ; for as some 
desperate fighting was yet to be done, there would very 
probably be some need of my services before the battle was 
over. In the mean time, and until there was a special call 
upon me, I could fight on my own hook, or act as a sort of aid 
to him. He then sent his orderly to the rear with the boy 
Bob and the horses, with directions to conduct them to the 

Glancing over the field, I saw the eleventh Louisiana regi- 
ment, with a friend of mine, and a brave officer. Colonel 
Sam. Marks, at its head, going for the enemy in gallant 
style, and in a short time the order came for us to advance. 
I was all oak, as the boys would say, and there was not upon 
the whole field a prouder or more determined upholder of the 


fortunes of the Confederac}^, or one who was more bent upon 
retrieving past disasters, and of inflicting upon the Federals a 
blow from which they would not be able to recover, than 
myself 1 considered it a rare piece of good fortune that 1 
was able to take part in what all hoped and expected would 
be a decisive battle with my own company, — as fine a body 
of men as were in the field, — and there were special reasons 
for feelings of jubilation at the idea of being permitted to 
fight by the side of Captain De Caulp. 

The Secret Out. 

The secret might as well be told now as at any other time, 
I suppose ; so the reader will please know that Captain De 
Caulp and I were under an engagement of marriage, having 
been in correspondence with each other since my departure 
from Pensacola. I had his letters in my breast pocket, and 
his photograph in the lining of my coat, while, I doubt not, 
that he had about him memorials of my unworthy self; and if 
he cared as much for me as I was led to believe he did by the 
fervency of his epistles, I was the especial object of his 
thoughts when, in obedience to the command to advance, we 
dashed at the enemy. He little suspected, however, that the 
woman to whom his heart and hand were pledged was by his 
side as he led his men into that bloody fray ; for, as I have 
before explained, he had an acquaintance with me both as a 
woman and as a man, but did not know that the two were the 

An Inspiring Situation. 

The situation was a singularly inspiring one for me, as may 
readily he imagined ; it was, in fact, such a situation as I 
doubt whether any woman had ever been placed in before ; 
and yet it seemed the most natural thing in the world that I 
should be there, and that I should try to distinguish myself 
by deeds of valor, for the sake of winning the approving 
smile of the man who, of all others, I was anxious should give 
me his approbation.. 

It may be thought that, even if I felt no fear for myself, as 
a woman I should have had some tremors when beholding my 
lover advancing into the thick of a desperate fight, at the 
head of his men. The idea of fear, either on his or on my 
own account, however, never occurred to me at the time, 


although, on reflecting over the matter afterwards, it struck 
me that some slight emotion of that kind would perhaps have 
been proper under the circumstances. We cannot think of 
everything at once, however ; and just at that time I was 
intent only on defeating the enemy before me, and proving 
myself a good fighter in the eyes of Captain I)e Caulp and 
his command. As for him, I desired for his sake, even more 
ardently than on my own account, that the occasion should be 
a glorious one, and I had a strange delight in following him 
into the thickest of the melee, and in watching with what 
undaunted spirit he bore himself throughout the long and 
sternly-fought battle. 

We had not been long engaged before the second lieutenant 
of the company fell. I immediately stepped into his place, 
and assumed the command of his men. Tliis action was 
greeted by a hearty cheer from the entire company, all the 
veterans of which, of course, knew me, and I took the greet- 
ing as an evidence that they were glad to see their original 
commander with them once more, and evidently anxious to do 
a full share of the heavy job of work that was to be done 
before the field coidd be ours. This cheer from the men was 
an immense inspiration to me ; and the knowledge that not my 
lover only, but the company which I had myself recruited, 
and thousands of others of the brave boys of our Southern 
army were watching my actions approvingly, encouraged me 
to dare everything, and to shrink from nothing to render 
myself deserving of their praises. 

A Furious Assault. 

Our assaults upon the enemy were made with irresistible 
fury, and we rushed through their lines, literally mowing 
them down like grain before the mowing machine. It was 
grander fighting than 1 had ever witnessed before, surpassing 
even the great sortie at Fort Donelson in desperatenoss and 
inspirational qualities. The bullets whistled through the air 
thick and fast, cutting the trees, and making the branches 
snap and fly, splintering the fence rails, striking the wagons, 
or sending some poor soldier suddenly to the earth. A cor- 
poral who was by my side was shot through the heart by a 
Minie ball. He fell heavily against me, and all my clothing 
was reddened by his blood. His only words were, " Damn 
the Yankees ! they have killed me." He was a very hand- 


some young mnn, only about twenty-two years of age, and his 
death perfectly inluriated nie, as it did his other comrades. 

The Federals never succeeded in recovering from the sur- 
prise of the morning; and although they stood their ground 
most stubbornly in some places, their entire line was grad- 
ually driven back towards the Landing, and each succeeding 
hour of the fight made their total defeat more of a certainty 
than ever. 

General Albert Sydney Johnston Killed. 

Shortly before three o'clock in the afternoon, our com- 
mander-in-chief, General Albert Sydney Johnston, was num- 
bered among the slain. His death, however, was carefully 
concealed from the army, and was known to but few until the 
battle was over. He was a great soldier, and his loss was an 
irreparable one ; for had he lived to superintend the conduct 
of the battle to the end, it is scarcely possible that he would 
have failed to push his advantages to the utmost, or that he 
woukl have committed the mistakes which turned a biilliant 
and decisive victory into an overwhelming and most maddening 

Close op the First Day's Battle. 

When the sun set that day the Confederates were success- 
fill at every point, and although they had suffered terribly^ 
they had forced the enemy's lines back almost to the Landings 
so that there was nothing now left them to do but to make a 
final successful stand, or else be crowded over the bluffs into 
the river, just as I had seen them crowded, six months before, 
at Ball's Bluff. That they could have made a final effective 
resistance, had the Confederates finished the day's work in 
the spirit they had begun it, was scarcely within the range 
of possibility ; and I confidently expected, as the daylight 
declined in the sky, to witness a repetition, on a larger scale, 
of all the horrors of the Ball's Bluff battle. Tliere was abso- 
lutely no escape for the Federals ; and their only hope was to 
hold their last rallying ground, and to gain time until the 
arrival of re-enforcements, which would enable them to re- 
cover their lost ground, and to assume the offensive against 
our victorious, but worn and shattered arm3^ Why the Con- 
federate advantages Avere not pushed that night, before 
General Buell could arrive with his fresh troops, and tha 


Federal army either captured or annihilated, as it assuredly 
would have been, was a mystery to me then, and is now. 

During the afternoon, I succeeded in gaining a good deal 
of very important information from several prisoners, and par- 
ticularly from a sergeant belonging to the twenty-seventh 
Illinois regiment. I did this by inducing him to believe that 
I was only in the Confederate army under compulsion, and 
that I intended to desert at the first opportunity. -I got out 
of him pretty much everything he knew about the Federal 
situation, who the different commanders were, and even how 
the forces were posted ; and, in full confidence that all I told 
him was the literal truth, he took out his diary and %vrote a 
short note to his colonel, which he intrusted to me to deliver 
for him. From this prisoner I learned how desperate were 
the straits of the enemy, and how anxiously they were await- 
ing the arrival of Buell with re-enforcements, and I was, con- 
sequently, in despair, for I saw our brilliant victory already 
slipping from us, when General Beauregard, who had suc- 
ceeded to the command after the death of Johnston, issued the 
order from his headquarters at the little Shiloh church, for us 
to halt in our advance, and to sleep on our arms all night, in- 
stead of pursuing the routed enemy, and compelling them 
either to surrender or to take to the river, as we compelled 
them to do at Ball's Bluff. 

A Fatal Mistake. 

When I heard Beauregard's order, I felt that a fatal mistake 
was being committed ; and, in utter desperation at the very 
thought of losing on the morrow all that we had gained by the 
most determined and desperate fighting through that long and 
bloody day, I could not resist the temptation of making an 
effort to find out for myself exactly what the situation within 
the enemy's lines really was, and was willing to run all the 
risks of being caught and shot as a spy, rather than to endure 
the suspense of a long night of uncertainty. 

My station was with the advanced picket line, I having per- 
suaded the captain to post me in a manner most favorable for 
carrying out my designs. I did not dare to tell him all I pro- 
posed to do, for fear that he would consider it his duty to pre- 
vent me, but gave him to understand that I intended, under 
cover of the darkness, to creep up as close as I could, with 
safety, to the Federal lines, with a view of trying to find out 


something concerning their movements. He liesitated some- 
what at even permitting me to do this much without the 
knowledge of tlie colonel, but finally gave a tacit consent. I 
also refrained from telling my full design to my immediate 
companion of the picket station, and made up a story about 
my intentions, which I thought would keep him quiet, and 
also promised to give him a drink of good whiskey when I got 
back if he would mind his own business and not attempt to 
interfere with me. 

I Make a Reconnoissance. 

I accordingly stole away, and creeping as noiselessly as I 
possibl}' could through the underbrush, approached the Land- 
ing. The command of General Wallace was stationed at this 
end of the Federal line, and I had a good deal of trouble to 
get past his pickets, being compelled to pause very frequently, 
and to keep close to the ground, watching favorable oppor- 
tunities for advancing from one point to another. I finally, 
however, did manage to get past them, and gained a tolerably 
good point of observation near the river, where I could see 
quite plainly what was going on at the Landing. 

It was just as I had anticipated. The Federals were crowd- 
ing about the Landing in utter disorder, and were without any 
means of crossing the river. They were completely in a trap, 
and so evidently keenly appreciated the fact, that the capture- 
of the entire army ought to have been an easy matter. One 
more grand charge along the entire line, in the same brilliant 
fashion that we had opened the battle, and every officer and 
man on this side of the river would either have been slain or 
taken prisoner, while we would have gained possession of the 
Landing, and have prevented any of the expected re-enforce- 
ments from crossing. 

Beauregard's Mistake. 

At this moment, I felt that if I could only command our army 
for two good hours I would be willing to die the moment the 
victory was won, while it maddened me to think that our com- 
mander should have permitted such an opportunity for inflict- 
ing a perfectly crushing defeat on the enemy to pass by unim- 
proved. Beauregard, certainly, could not have understood the 
situation, or he would inevitably have pursued his advantage ; 


and yet I could not understand how he could help knowing, 
not only that the Federals were in desperate straits, but that 
fresh troops were hurrying to their assistance, and that in the 
morning the battle would, assuredly, be resumed with the 
odds all in their favor. 

Arrival of Federal Re-enforcements. 

While I was watching and chafing under the blunder that I 
was sure had been committed, a steamboat with re-enforce- 
ments arrived at the Landing. These fresh troops were imme- 
diately formed, and despatched to the front. Another detach- 
ment came, before I withdrew, overwhelmed with grief and 
disgust at the idea of our victory coming to nothing, simply 
because there was not the requisite energy at headquarters 
to strike the final blow that was needed, in order that our 
hard fighting might have its proper reward. 

There was, evidently, somebody on the Federal side who 
was bent on retrieving the disaster ; for the hurried movements 
of the new troops, and the constant firing which the two gun- 
boats — Tyler and Lexington — kept up, indicated an aggres- 
siveness that augured unfavorably for our tired and badly cut-up 
army when the fight should re-open in the morning. The two 
gunboats had moved up to the mouth of Lick Creek, and about 
dark commenced throwing shells into our lines in a manner 
that Avas anything but agreeable, and that demoralized our men 
more than any kind of attack they had been compelled to stand 
up under. I had been under musketry and artillery fire a 
number of times, and did not find the sharp hiss of the bullets, 
or the scream of the shells, particularly pleasant. There was 
something horrible, however, about the huge missiles hurled 
by the gunboats, and they excited far more disagreeable sen- 
sations than either musket or rifle bullets, or the favors which 
the field artillerists were in the habit of bestowing. These 
shells could easily be seen in the air for some seconds, and 
each individual that beheld them had an uncomfortable feeling 
that they were aiming directly at him, with a strong prob- 
ability of striking. Sometimes they burst in the air, scatter- 
ing in every direction ; oftener the}^ burst just as they struck, 
and the pieces inflicted ugly wounds if they happened to hit 
anybody, and occasionally they would bury themselves in the 
ground, and then explode, tearing holes large enough to bury 
a cart and horse in. 


There was something almost comical in the way the soldiers, 
who had fought, without flinching, for hours in the face of a 
terrific artillery and musketry fire, attempted to dodge these 
shells. The hideous screams uttered by them, just before strik- 
ing, seeming to drive all the courage out of the hearts of those 
against whom they were directed. Facing this kind of attack, 
without being able in any way to reply to it, was much more 
trying than the toughest fighting ; and the rapidity with which 
the gunners on board the boats kept up their fire about dusk, 
undoubtedly had a great effect in checking the Confederate's 
advance, and in saving the badly-beaten Federal army from 
utter rout. 

During the whole of the night the Tyler and Lexington 
threw their shells steadily, and at frequent intervals, in the 
direction of our army ; but now that the fighting was over, 
and our men were trying to rest for the work of the morrow, 
it was comparatively easy to keep out of their way, and they 
consequently did not do much damage. A heavy rain storm, 
in the middle of the night, had much more to do with making 
the situation an unpleasant one than the firing from the gun- 
boats, as it drenched every one to the skin, and seriously dis- 
turbed the slumbers of the wearied soldiers. 

General Grant's Peril. 

While surveying, from my post of observation in the bushes, 
the movements of the routed Federal troops at the Landing, 
a small boat, with two officers in it, passed up the river. As 
it drew near the place where I was concealed, I recognized 
one of the officers as General Grant, and the other one I knew 
by his uniform to be a general. Grant I had seen at Fort 
Donelson, and I had met with pictures of him in some of the 
illustrated papers, so that I had no trouble in knowing him in 
spite of the darkness. The boat passed so close to me that I 
could occasionally catch a word or two of the conversation that 
was passing between the Federal commander and his associ- 
ate, although, owing to the splashing of the oars, and the 
other noises, I could not detect what they were talking about. 

My heart began to beat violently when I saw Grant, and 
my hand instinctively grasped my revolver. Both he, and the 
officer with him, were completely at my mercy, for they were 
within easy pistol shot, and my first impulse was to kill them, 
and run the risk of all possible consequences to myself. I did 

214 geant's narrow escape. 

even go so far as to take a good aim, and in a second more, 
had I been a little firmer-nerved, the great Federal general, 
and the future President of the United States, would have 
finished his career. 

It was too much like murder, however, and I could not 
bring myself to do the deed, although it would have been as 
justifiable as any killing that takes place in warfare. Any 
soldier, however, will appreciate my feelings ; for tliose who 
are bravest, when standing face to face witli the enemy, will 
hesitate to take deliberate aim at a single man from an am- 
bush. I therefore permitted Grant to escape, although I 
knew it was better for my cause to slay him than would be the 
loss of many hundreds less important soldiers. Indeed, had 
Grant fallen before my pistol, the great battle of Shiloh might 
have had a far different termination ; for his loss would have 
so completed the demoraHzation of the Federals, that another 
rally would, in all probability, have been an impossibility. To 
have shot him, as I at first intended to do, would almost cer- 
tainly have insured my own destruction ; for large numbers of 
the Federals were so near me that I could plainly hear them 
talking, and escape would have been almost out of the ques- 
tion. I would, however, have been willing to have made a 
sacrifice of myself, had I not been influenced in the course I 
did by other considerations than those of prudence. At any 
rate, I permitted my opportunity to slip by unimproved, and 
ere a great many moments the boat and its occupants were 
out of my reach, and I saw the two generals go on board one 
of the gunboats. 

After I got back to my camp I could not help thinking that 
I had committed an error ; but on reflecting over the matter 
in cooler moments, I was not sorry that I had resisted the 
temptation to pull the trigger when I had my finger on it. 
If I had fired, what would have been the consequences, so far 
as the results of the war were concerned? The Federals 
would have lost their ablest general, almost at the beginning 
of his career. Would they have found another man who would 
have commanded their armies with the brilliant success that 
Grant did? These are momentous questions, when we think 
of the events that have occurred since the battle of Shiloh. 
Much more than the life of a single man was probably de- 
pendent upon whether I concluded to fire or not, as I pointed 
my pistol at the men in the boat that April night. 

After the boat had passed by, I was strongly tempted to go 


to tlie Federal camp and announce myself as a deserter, taking 
my chances of being able to get back again, or, at least, to 
give the slip before many hours, should my sincerity be sus- 
pected, and a close watch be put over me. This, however, I 
thought rather too risky a proceeding, under all the circum- 
stances, and therefore concluded to get back to my post again. 
I succeeded in doing this, although not without considerable 
difficulty ; and not caring to let my comrade know all that I 
had seen and thought, 1 told him that my errand had been an 
unsuccessful one, as I had not been able to get near enough 
to the Federal lines to discover anything of importance. To 
insure his keeping quiet, I said that I would go and get him 
a drink of that whiskey I had promised him, which made his 
eyes sparkle with delight, and started ofi'to inform my captain 
with regard to what I had found out, and to ask his advice 
about what I had better do. 

What had Best be Done? 

Captain De Caulp was seriously perplexed at my report ; 
but he said that attempting to instruct the general of an army 
was a risky business, and the probabilities were, that should I 
go to headquarters with my story, I would get into serious 
trouble. He further suggested that, perhaps, the general was 
as well informed with regard to the movements of the enemy 
as myself, if not better, and was making his arrangements ac- 
cordingly ; all of which did not relieve my mind of its pre- 
monitions of impending disaster, although it convinced me 
that, for my own sake, I had better hold my tongue. In spite 
of everything, however, it was as much as I could do to re- 
frain from attempting to let Beauregard know how matters 
were, and of running all the risks of his displeasure. I finally 
came to the conclusion that the responsibilities were his, and 
not mine, and 1 had no fancy for being put under arrest, and 
of ruining all my future prospects by going through with my 
New Orleans experiences again, under circumstances that 
would almost inevitably expose me to indignities worse even 
than those I had suffered at the hands of his honor Mayor 

I accordingly reluctantly concluded to wait and see what 
the result of the next day's battle would be, declaring ener- 
getically to Captain De Caulp, that if we were defeated, I 
would never raise my sword in the army of Tennessee again. 


I knew that there would be some hot work in the morning, 
whatever the final result of the battle might be, and felt the 
necessity of getting what rest I could, if I was to do a sol- 
dier's whole duty. Wrapping myself in my blanket, there- 
'fore, I threw myself upon the ground, and tried to sleep; but 
I was so agitated and apprehensive for the morrow, that slum- 
ber was an impossibility. Again and again as I tossed about, 
unable to close my eyes, I more than half repented of my res- 
olution not to report the result of my spying expedition at 
headquarters ; but being convinced not only of the inutility, 
but the danger to myself, of such a proceeding, refrained from 
doing so. Several times I fell into an uneasy doze, but the 
sound and refreshing slumbers that I so sorely needed would 
not visit my weary eyelids, and daybreak found me as wide 
awake as ever, but certainly not fit to endure the fatigues and 
perils of a fierce battle in such a manner as to do myself any 
credit. I resolved, however, although I felt that we were 
rushing on defeat, to face every danger, and endure every 
trial with the bravest and most enduring of my comrades, so 
long as the slightest hope of success remained, and if finally 
defeat seemed inevitable, to make off with what speed I could 
for the purpose of trying my luck in some other quarter. 

Commencement of the Second Day's Battle. 

At daylight the gunboats began to fire more rapidly than 
they had been doing during the night, and with such admi- 
rable execution that a prompt attack upon the part of the Con- 
federates was rendered impossible. The second day of the 
battle, therefore, opened favorably for the Federals, and we 
lost the advantage we might have gained by assuming the 
offensive, and hurling our forces on the enemy, with that elan 
for which our Southern soldiers were famous, and which had 
served them so well on many important occasions. The 
opportunity thus lost was never regained ; for although the 
fortunes of the fight seemed to waver, it was easily to be seen 
that victory was no longer with the Confederates, and that the 
grievous mistake of the night before, in not promptly follow- 
ing up our success, and finishing our work then and there, 
would have all the terrible consequences I had feared. 

The Federal general, Nelson, formed his troops in line of 
battle on our extreme left, and threw out his skirmishers for 


over a mile. Our whole force was soon! engaged ; but the 
Federals steadily advanced, and we were compelled to retire 
before them, our worn and exhausted men fighting desperately 
as they went. About ten o'clock we succeeded in making 
the cover of a woods, which enabled us to rally with ellect, 
and our forces were hurled against the enemy with such fury, 
that they began to retreat in disorder ; but, being supported 
by re-enforcements, they were ultimately able to hold their 

About this time a heavy cannonading commenced, and the 
battle began to assume the phase of an artillery duel. On our 
side, Terril's battery did excellent service, and succeeded in 
holding the enemy at bay, giving the infantry a breathing 
spell tliat they sorely needed. For more than two hours the 
artillery and musketry fire continued at short range ; and the 
Confederates kept up to their work in such gallant style, that 
the enemy wavered again, and one grand charge might have 
routed them. Before such a charge could be made, however, 
heavy re-enforcements arrived, under the command of General 
Buell, as I understood ; and these fresh troops, formed by 
brigades, attacked us at double-quick, and drove us back half a 
mile, breaking our lines, and throwing us into inextricable 


By two o'clock, the whole of this part of the field was 
cleared, and the battle was practically lost to the Confeder- 
ates, although the fighting was obstinately continued else- 
where for an hour or two longer. 

All my worst anticipations had come true ; and the Federal 
army, which was almost annihilated the night before, had not 
only saved itself, and recovered its lost ground, but it had in- 
flicted upon the Confederates a most disastrous defeat. This 
was the only name for it, for we were worse beaten than the 
Federals w^ere at Bull Run ; and the fact that we were not 
pursued on our retreat, only proved that the Federal com- 
manders, like our own at Bull Run, were either incapable of 
appreciating the importance of vigorous action under such 
circumstances, or were unable to follow up their advantages. 

When I saw clearly that the day was lost, I determined to 
leave the field, and half resolved that if I succeeded in getting 
well away from our beaten army, I would give the whole thing 


up, and never strike another blow for the Confederacy as a 
soldier. I was scarcely able to contain myself for rage, not at 
the defeat, but at the inexcusable blunder that caused it; and 
was worked up to such a pitch, that I felt willing to die, as if 
there was nothing now worth living for. The Fort Donelson 
disaster, which I had hoped would be retrieved, had now been 
followed by another even more terrible ; and the success of 
the Confederate cause was more remote, and more uncertain, 
than ever. It made me gnash my teeth with impotent fury 
to think of these things, and to have all my high hopes so sud- 
denly dashed to the ground, just when the prospects for their 
realization seemed so bright. 

A Valuable Prize. 

About five o'clock I found my boy near the hospital. He 
had my horse, and another fine animal that he had picked up. 
In reply to my query, Bob said that he had found him in the 
woods without a rider. He was branded " U. S," and had an 
officer's saddle on ; and as he seemed, from outside appear- 
ances, to be superior to my own steed, I concluded to take 
possession of him. Mounting him, I tried him over a fence, 
and a large log, which he cleared like an antelope ; so deem- 
ing him a prize worth securing, I turned over my own horse 
to Bob, and started him off on the road to Corinth. The boy, 
however, mistook the road, and went plump into the Federal 
camp at Purdy, thus depriving me of his valuable services. 

As for me, I remained in the woods all night, the roads 
being perfectly blocked up with the retreating army, trying to 
shield myself as best I could from the furious storm of rain 
and hail that came on, as if to add to the miseries which the 
wretched soldiers of the Confederacy were compelled to en- 
dure on their weary march back to Corinth. Although I had 
escaped from the two days' fighting unhurt, I was so utterly 
worn out and wretched, that I really did not care a great deal 
what became of me, and was almost as willing to be taken 
prisoner by the Federals as to return to Corinth, with a view 
of again undertaking to exert myself in what was now begin- 
ning to appear the hopeless cause of Southern independence. 
I managed, however, after the worst of the storm was over, to 
find a tolerably dry place, where, completely used up by the 
fatigues I had undergone, I fell into a sound sleep. 



The Morning after the Battle of Shiloh. — My Return to Camp. — A Letter 
from my Memphis Lady-love. — A sad Case. — My Boy Bob missing. — 
I start out to Search for him. — A runaway Horse, and a long Tramp 
through the Mud. — Return to the Battle-field. — Horrible Scenes along 
the road. — Out on a scouting Expedition. — Burying the Dead. — 1 re- 
ceive a severe Wound. — A long and painful Ride back to Camp. — My 
Wound dressed by a Surgeon, and my Sex discovered. — A Fugitive. — 
Arrival at Grand Junction. — Crowd of anxious Inquirers. — Off for New 
Orleans. — Stoppages at Grenada, Jackson, and Osyka on Account of 
my Wound. — The Kindness of Friends. — Fresh Attempt to reach New 
Orleans. — Unsatisfactory Appearance of the military Situation.. — The 
Passage of the Forts by the Federal Fleet. — A new Field of Employment 
opened for me. — I resume the Garments of my Sex. 

sESTED, but scarcely refreshed, by a brief slum- 
ber on the damp ground, and with thoughts of 
the most gloomy description filling my mind, I 
mounted my horse at daybreak and started to 
ride back to Corinth. I was in rather different 
5 from what I was two days before, when, inspired 
illiant hopes, and full of confidence that with this, 
irst great battle of the spring campaign, the disas- 
the winter would be more than repaired, and 
our Confederate army was about to enter upon a 
career of victory which would, most likely, long before 
the ending of the summer, establish our independence, I had 
hastened to the field, eager only to be able to join in the fight 
in time to have a chance of distinguishing myself before the 
Federals should be completely wiped out. The attack was, 
indeed, made as brilliantly and as successfully as I had antici- 
pated that it would be, and at the end of a hard day's fighting, 
victory was fairly within our grasp. At the end of another 
day, however, we were a broken and disorganized mass of fu- 
gitives, straggling back to our camps, and thinking ourselves 
lucky that the Federals were not enterprising enough to pur- 
sue us before we could reach our intrenchments. 



There was a hope, indeed, that we would be able to hold 
Corinth, and, by inducing the Federals to attack us in our 
fortifications, regain something of the advantage we had lost. 
The defeat, therefore, bad as it was, was not so desperate an 
overthrow as the one at Fort Donelson ; but, although I felt 
this, and felt that if we could but hold our ground a little 
while all might be well, I was so despondent over the way things 
seemed to be going, that I had little heart to continue in the 
contest any longer. At the same time I was loath to give the 
thing up, and could not help reflecting that the true spirit of 
heroism required me to bear adversity with fortitude, and to 
seek to advance the interests of my cause, no matter how un- 
propitious the times might seem. 

Reflections after the Battle. 

I was more than ever anxious noAv, however, to enter upon 
the line of duty for which I esteemed myself particularly 
fitted ; for, now that the excitement of the battle-field was 
over, and defeat once more compelled reflection, I could not 
help thinking that I was doing no very material service by 
plunging into the thick of a fight, as much for the enjoyment 
of the thing as anything else, whereas I could be worth many 
soldiers to the Confederacy if intrusted with certain duties 
of equal responsibility and danger, which I could perform 
much better than any man. How to obtain an assignment to 
this kind of duty, however, was what puzzled me, and it really 
almost seemed that a first-rate opportunity of distinguishing 
myself as a secret service emissary would never be offered. 

Resolving in my own mind all manner of plans for the 
future, but unable to determine what my next move had better 
be, I made my way back to camp feeling, as I reflected on my 
brilliant expectations of a few days before, as if I were re- 
turning from a fool's errand, although I cannot say that I was 
sorry on account of having taken a hand in the fight, for 
throughout the two days I had borne myself as gallantly as 
the best, while simply as a personal adventure, the battle was 
a memorable affair for more reasons than one. It was at least 
something for me to have stood by the side of my expected 
husband throughout the long and bloody contest, and to have 
given him proofs of my valorous disposition, such as he could 
scarcely help remembering, with pleasure, in the future, when 
he learned that the little independent lieutenant, and the 


woman who was engaged as his wife, were one and the same 
person. So far, at least, my participation in the battle was a 
source of satisfaction to me, althougli it did not diminish my 
distress at so soon again being called upon to witness another 
hard-fought field lost to the Confederacy. 

A Love Letter. 

On arriving at camp I found a mail awaiting me. Among 
my letters were some from my friends in the army of Virginia, 
and one from my little Memphis lady, which read as fol- 
lows : — 

" Memphis, Tennessee, April 2. 18(52. 

" My Dear Harry : Yours was handed to me the next 
morning by our trusty and faithful old servant David, and I 
hastily opened it, knowing it to be from you by the hand- 
writing. My dear, I am afraid that this will appear unintelli- 
gible, being wet with tears from beginning to end. When 
your letter was handed to me we were at breakfast, and 
grandpa was reading the " Appeal," wherein it was stated that 
all officers and soldiers away from their commands should 
report for duty. I was afraid that you would have to go, but 
some hope remained until your fatal letter convinced me that 
my suspicions were too well founded. Alas, how vain are 
human expectations ! In the morning we dream of happiness, 
and before evening are really miserable. I was promising to 
myself that one month more would have joined our hands, and 
now we are to be separated — yes, perhaps for years, if not 
"forever; for how do I know but that the next tidings may 
bring intelligence of your being killed in battle, and then, 
farewell to everything in this world ; my prospects of a happy 
future will vanish, and although unmarried, I will ever remain 
the widow Buford until death. 

" And is it possible my dear Harry can doubt for one mo- 
ment of my sincerity ; or do you think that these affections can 
ever be placed on another, which were first fixed upon your 
dear self, from a convincing sense of your accomplishments 
and merit ? No, dear Harry, my fidelity to you shall remain 
as unspotted as this paper was before it was blotted with ink 
and bedewed with tears. I know not how others love, but 
my engagements are for eternity. You desire me to remind 
you of your duty. My dear, I know not of any faults, nor 


am I disposed to look for any. I doubt not that the religious 
education you have received in your youth will enable you to 
resist the strongest temptations, and make that everlasting 
honor to the army, Lieutenant Buford, although not afraid to 
fight, yet afraid to sin. However terrifying it may be to meet 
death in the field, yet it is far more awful to appear before a 
just God, whom we have offended by our iniquities. There 
are no persons in the world accused more of irreligion than 
the military, while from the very nature of their employment 
none are more obliged to practise every Christian duty. They 
see thousands of their fellow-beings hurried into eternity 
without a moment's warning, nor do they know but that the 
next day they may themselves meet the same fate. My dear 
Harry, never be ashamed of religion; a consciousness of your 
own integrity will inspire you Avith courage in the day of 
battle, and if you should at last die in defence of the right in 
your country's cause, the Divine favor will be your comfort 
through eternity. In the mean time my prayers shall be con- 
stantly for your safety and your preservation in the day of 
battle, and my earnest hopes will be fixed upon your happy 

" I will visit my aunt this fall in Alabama ; she being your 
friend, will be some consolation to me in your absence. Let 
me hear from you as soon as possible, and as often, and never 
doubt my fidelity: consider me yours already, and I am satis- 
fied. I hung your handsome picture opposite to mine in the 
drawing-room, over where we used to sit and chat together. 
Grandpa sa3^s that it does not flatter you, as we were both 
lovesick. What ideas the old folks do get into their heads, , 
just as if they had never loved in their time. I have not seen 
the"captain since; I think that his command is ordered away. 

'' Farewell, dear Harry, and may the wisdom of God direct 
you, and His all-wise providence be your guard. This is the 
sincere prayer of one who prefers you before all the world. 
Grandpa and auntie wish to be remembered to you kindly. I 
wrote to brother that you would hand him a letter. 
" Your loving intended till death, 

" M ." 

I give this as a favorable specimen of the love-letters I was 
in the habit of receiving during my military career, and I have 
the less hesitation in doing so as it is one that no woman need 
be ashamed of having written. I could not help laughing a 


little as I read it, and yet I felt really sorr}' for tlic writer, and 
reproached myself for having permitted my flirtation with lier 
to go to the length it did. The case was a particularly sad 
one, for the reason that the man who loved her devotedly, and 
who would doubtless in time have succeeded in curing her of 
her misplaced affections for the fictitious Lieutenant Buford, 
was among the slain at Shiloh. There was no braver soldier 
belonging to the Confederate army engaged in that bloody 
battle than Phil, Hastings, and his death was doubly a source 
of regret to me, as by it I lost a warm-hearted and sincere 
friend, and also an opportunity to undo the wrong I had un- 
wittingly done him through capturing the affections of the 
girl he loved, by endeavoring to make matters right between 
him and her. 

At the time of the receipt of this letter, however, I had 
something of more pressing importance to think of than ex- 
planations with Miss M. My boy had not put in an appear- 
ance, and suspecting that he must have lost himself, I started 
out to search for him ; but, although I made diligent inquiry, 
I could not obtain any intelligence of him. This vexed me 
extremely, for Bob had become an invaluable servant, being 
very hand}" and entirely trustworthy, and I felt that he would 
be indispensable to me in the movement I now had more than 
half determined to make, with a view of trying to win the 
favors of Fortune in a somewhat new field of action. 

My Horse gets Away. 

To make matters worse, when about five miles from Corinth 
my horse broke from me, and stampeding out of sight, left me 
to get back the best way I could. I was now in a pretty fix, 
with scarcely any money about me, and with miles of terribly 
rough and muddy roads to traverse before I could regain my 
quarters. There was nothing, however, to do but to bear up 
under my misfortunes as bravely as possible, and so plunging 
through the mud, I tried to make my way back to Corinth 
with what rapidity I could. 

The first camp I made was that of the eleventh Louisiana 
regiment, in which I had a number of friends. The Louisiana 
boys imagined that I had just come from Memphis, and they 
gave me a very hearty welcome, although they were not feeling 
particularly good over the result of the battle. Obtaining a 
horse from the quartermaster, I started back to the battle- 


field in company with Captain G. Merrick Miller, who desired 
to bury the dead of his company. 

The Battle-field Revisited. 

The road was lined with stragglers, many of them suffering 
from severe wounds, who were slowly making their way back 
to their respective camps, and as we reached the scene of the 
late action the most ghastly sight met our eyes. The ground 
was thickly strewn with dead men and horses, arms and accou- 
trements were scattered about in every direction, wagons 
were stuck in the mud and abandoned, and other abundant 
evidences of the sanguinary nature of the conflict were per- 
ceptible to our eyes. I could face the deadliest fire without 
fiinching, but I could not bear to look at these things, and so, 
after having made a number of vain inquiries for Bob, I rode 
back to camp, and said good-by to my Louisiana friends, 
leaving them under the impression that I intended to take the 

This I probably might have done had I not fallen in with 
some cavalry who were about starting out on scouting duty, 
and been tempted to accompany them. This was the kind of 
work that I had a particular liking for ; and as I had no definite 
plan for the immediate future arranged, and was desirous of 
finding Bob before leaving Corinth or its neighborhood, I 
concluded to try whether a little cavalry service would not be 
productive of some adventure worth participating in. An 
adventure of importance in its influence on my future career, 
sure enough, it did bring me, although it was not exactly what 
I anticipated or desired. 

Burying the Dead. 

It was about dark when we set out, and we spent the night 
hovering about in the neighborhood of the enemy, but without 
anything noteworthy occurring. The nest day we had a 
little brush with a party of Federals, and after the exchange 
of a few shots were compelled to retreat. After this, we came 
across some dead men belonging \o the tenth Tennessee regi- 
ment in the woods. Carefully removing the bodies to a field 
near by, we put them in a potato bin, and with a hoe, which 
was the only implement we could find suited to our purpose, 
we covered them, as well as we were able, with earth. 


While enga,c;cd in tliis melancholy duty, the enemy were 
occasionally tiring shells in different directions, apparently 
feeling for us. We paid no special attention to them, as the 
Federals seemed to be firing at random, and, so far as we 
could judge, did not notice our party. Soon, however, a 
shrapnel burst in our midst, killing a young fellow instantly, 
and wounding me severely in the arm and shoulder. 

I AM Severely Wounded. 

I was thrown to the ground, and stunned with the sudden- 
ness of the thing. One of the soldiers picked me up, and 
stood me on my feet, saying, " Are you hurt ? " 

" No, not bad," I replied, in a vague sort of way, but my 
whole system was terribly shocked, and I felt deathly sick. 
Before a great many moments, however, I perfectly recovered 
my consciousness, and by a resolute effort of will, endeavored 
to bear up bravely. I found, however, that I was unable to 
use my right arm, and soon the wound began to pain me 

The soldier who had picked me up, seeing that I was too 
badly hurt to help myself, lifted me on my horse, and started 
back to camp with me. It was a long ride, of nearly fifteen 
miles, and I thought that it would never come to an end. 
Every moment the pain increased in intensity, and if my 
horse jolted or stumbled a little, I experienced the most 
excruciating agony. My fortitude began to give way before 
the terrible physical suffering I was compelled to endure ; all 
my manliness oozed out long before I reached camp, and my 
woman's nature asserted itself with irresistible force. I 
could face deadly peril on the battle-field without flinching, 
but this intolerable pain overcame me completely, and I longed 
to be where there would be no necessity for continuing ray 
disguise, and where I could obtain shelter, rest, and attention 
as a woman. My pride, however, and a fear of consequences, 
prevented me from revealing my sex, and I determined to 
preserve my secret as long as it was possible to do so, hoping 
soon to reach some place where I could be myself again with 

By the time we reached camp my hand and arm were so 

much swollen, that my conductor found it necessary to rip the 

sleeve of my coat in order to get at the wound for the purpose 

of bathing it in cold water. The application of tlie water 



■was a slight relief, but tlie hurt was too serious a one for such 
treatment to be of permanent service, so an ambulance was 
procured, and I was taken to the railroad and put on the train 
bound South, The cars stopped at Corinth for two hours, 
and, feeling the necessity for some medical attendance as soon 
as possible, I sent for a young surgeon whom I knew intimate- 
ly, and telling him that I was wounded severely, asked him to 
try and do something to relieve my suffering. 

My Sex Discovered. 

He immediately examined my arm, and, as I perceived by 
the puzzled expression that passed over his face, he was 
beginning to suspect something, and guessing that further 
concealment would be useless, I told him who I really was. 
I never saw a more astonished man in my life. The idea of 
a woman engaging in such an adventure, and receiving such 
an ugly hurt, appeared to shock him extremely, and he de- 
clared that he would not take the responsibility of performing 
an operation, but would send for Dr. S. This frightened me, 
for I had witnessed some specimens of that surgeon's method 
of dealing with wounded soldiers, and I insisted that he was 
too barbarous, and that he should not touch me. He then 
proposed to send for Dr. H., but I objected to this also, and 
finally, at my urgent solicitation, he consented to make a 
careful examination himself, and try what he could do. 

My shoulder was found to be out of place, my arm cut, and 
my little finger lacerated — a disagreeable and exceedingly 
painful, but not necessarily a very dangerous wound. The 
surgeon applied a dressing, and put my arm in a sling, after 
which I felt a great deal more comfortable, although the pain 
was still intense ; and he then endeavored to induce me to 
stop at Corinth until I was in better condition for travelling. 
Now, however, that my sex was discovered, I was more than 
ever anxious to get away from my old associates, in the hope 
of finding some place where I could remain until I got well, 
and able to commence operations again in a different locality, 
without being annoyed by the attentions of impertinently 
curious people. I therefore insisted upon pushing on to 
Grenada, and he, finding that argument was useless, and, per- 
haps, appreciating my reasons for getting away as soon as 
possible, very kindly went and procured transportation papers 
for me, and before the information that a woman, disguised as 


an officer, was amonr^ the woimdod on the train, we were, to 
my infinite satisfaction, speeding out of sight, leaving beliind 
us the camp occupied by a defeated army. The tliouglit that 
our brave army should be resting under the cloud of a most 
Immihating defeat was a mental torture, which even my intense 
physical suffering could not pacify, and I was heartily glad to 
be able to take myself off from a locality which had so many 
unpleasant associations. 

While on the train I suffered a great deal, although I was as 
well cared for as circumstances would permit, and it was an 
immense relief when we reached Grand Junction, for the 
hotel proprietor there was an old and true friend of mine, and 
I felt sure of receiving from him all the attention it was in his 
power to bestow. I found, however, that it was almost an 
impossibility to get any accommodation whatever, on account 
of the crowds of people who filled the place. The wives and 
other relatives of officers and soldiers had come to await the 
result of the battle ; and as the news that the Confederate 
army had been defeated had preceded me, every thing was in 
confusion, and everybody plunged in the deepest grief. 

Waiting for the Loved Ones. 

Some of the waiting ones had already received their 
wounded friends, or the corpses of the slain, while others 
were nearly wild with anxiety on account of husbands, or 
brothers, or lovers who had not yet been heard from. Alas ! 
many of them were lying stretched, stark and stiff, on the 
bloody field at Shiloh, where they had bravely fought for the 
cause they loved. 

I was asked a thousand questions about the battle, and was 
pressed with a thousand anxious interrogatories about particu- 
lar persons, and endeavored to answer as well as I could, 
notwithstanding the pain which my wounded arm and shoulder 
caused. Many of the women could not prevail upon them- 
selves to believe that the Confederate army had been again 
defeated, and indulged in the fiercest invectives against the 
invaders. The intense grief of these stricken people affected 
me even more than the terrible scenes incident to the battle 
and the retreat, and, as I was not in a fit condition to endure 
anything more of anguish, and as it seemed to be impossible 
to obtain a room where I could be quiet and free from intru- 
sion, I determined to push on to Grenada, without more delay, 


although I was anything but able to endure the excitement 
and discomfort of several hours' ride by rail. 

Having reached Grenada, I took a good rest by remaining 
there for two days, and was greatly benefited thereby, for 
rest and an opportunity to cool off from the excitement I was 
in, were what I particularly needed if I expected to make 
satisfactory progress with the healing of my wound. I was 
visited by a great many of the ladies of the place, who presented 
me with bouquets, delicacies of various kinds, and bandages for 
my wound, and who otherwise overwhelmed me with atten- 
tions, for which I hope I was duly grateful. Not only the 
natural restlessness of my disposition, which my wound aggra- 
vated to such an extent that it was an impossibility for me to 
keep quiet, but a desire to get as far away from the army of 
Tennessee as possible, before the fact that Lieutenant Harry 
T. Buford was a woman became generally known, induced 
me to move on with all the speed I could make, and I con- 
sequently started for New Orleans before I was really fit to 
travel. The result was, that when I reached Jackson, I found 
myself too ill to proceed farther, and was compelled, much 
against my will, to make another stop. 

The hospitalities I received at Jackson, I will always 
remember with the warmest feelings of gratitude. I was 
really very sick, and my wounded shoulder and arm were 
terribly inflamed, and I scarcely know what I should have 
done had not a widow lady and her daughter taken a fancy 
to me, and waited on me until I was able to be on the road 
again. These ladies treated me like a young lord, and I shall 
ever think of them as having placed me under a debt that I 
can never repay. 

At' Jackson, I made the acquaintance of General Price's 
quartermaster, who was stationed there. This gentleman I 
afterwards met in Wyoming Territory, but he did not recog- 
nize me, as, indeed, it was scarcely possible that he should. 

On the Move Again. 

So soon as I thought myself able to endure the fatigues of 
travel, I insisted upon being on the move in spite of the 
remonstrances of my friends, and made another start for New 
Orleans. I had, however, miscalculated my strength, and was 
compelled to make another halt at Osyka, near the Louisiana 
line. At this place resided one of the best friends I ever had 


in the world. He is, in truth, one of Nature's noblemen, and 
I wish that our country had more like him. My fervent 
prayer is, that he may have long life, health, and abundant 
prosperity, and that every blessing may be showered upon 
him and his family. With this kind friend I remained a couple 
of days, and was treated with the greatest kindness, a kind- 
ness that would scarcely permit of my departure, when, feel- 
ing in better health and spirits than I had been since the 
battle, I announced my intention of continuing my journey. 
Resisting all importunities to make a longer stay, however, I 
insisted upon going, and stepped on board the train bound 
for New Orleans, determined to reach that city this time at 
all hazards. 

By this time my wound was healing quite nicely ; and 
although it pained me considerably still, the feverishness 
which had attended it was gone, and I began to feel myself 
once more, and with restored health began to busy myself in 
making plans for the future. Exactly what course next to 
pursue I could not quite determine, but I felt very confident 
that if I once reached New Orleans, and could prevent myself 
from being interfered Avith by my old friends, the provost 
marshal and Mayor Monroe I would very soon find some 
congenial employment. 

On the train there were a great many wounded men, some 
of them old friends of mine whom I was glad to meet with 
again. The trip, therefore, was a pleasant one in some 
respects, notwithstanding its melancholy aspects, and we had 
a tolerably lively time discussing the late battle, and the 
chances of the Confederates being able to make headway in 
the future against the force which the Federals were bring- 
ing against them in every direction. We were obliged to 
acknowledge that the outlook was not a particularly promis- 
ing one, and more than one expressed the belief that New 
Orleans would be the next object of attack. There was a 
good deal of confidence felt, however, that a Federal advance 
against the Gulf city, if it should be attempted, would be 
repulsed in a manner, that would, in some degree, compensate 
for the Confederate defeats at Fort Donelson and Shiloh. 
This confidence, on the part of my companions, I was scarcely 
able to share, for, not only had my late experiences shaken my 
belief in the invincibility of the Confederate arm)'-, but I 
knew better than they did that the Federals intended to 
assail New Orleans, and I felt very certain, that if the assault 


was made, it would be with a force that our people would 
find well-nigh irresistible. I, however, kept my thoughts to 
myself, but resolved that so soon as we arrived in the city, I 
would exert myself with a view of obtaining a full under- 
standing of the situation, and decide according to circum- 
stances what course it would be best for me to pursue. 

Back in New Orleans. 

In New Orleans I met a number of old friends, James 
Doolan, Frank Moore, Captain Daugherty, and others, all of 
whom were first-rate fellows, and all quite certain that in case 
the Federals should put in an appearance, they would be given 
a warmer reception than they bargained for. I admired their 
enthusiasm, although I was not as well able to share it as I 
would perhaps have been some months before, and I resolved 
to see for myself, as much as I was able, exactly what the 
defences of the city amounted to. I accordingly went about 
the camps as much as I could, in a quiet sort of wa}", making 
mental notes' of all I observed, and I very soon came to the 
conclusion that the military situation was one that I did not 
like a bit. I knew, however, that the river defences were 
strong, and I hoped, rather than expected, that they would 
be able to repel any attack that would be made. 

I was not long, however, in concluding that New Orleans 
would be a good place for me to go away from at as early a 
day as possible, for I had no notion of witnessing another 
triumph of the enemy if I could help it. I was, however, 
far Irom being strong enough to go on active duty, and 
thouglit that the best thing I could do was to remain where I 
was until my health was entirely restored, and to employ this 
enforced leisure in maturing a definite plan of action for the 
future, for, with returning health, my desire for active 
employment, either in the field or on detective duty, returned 
with all its original force, and I could not induce myself to 
entertain the idea of resuming permanently the garments of 
my sex, and of abandoning the service of the Confederacy so 
long as there was any work to be done. 

When the news came that the Federal fleet had passed 
Forts Jackson and St. Philip, I at first thought of leaving as 
quickly as I could ; but a little reflection induced me to change 
my mind, for I saw clearly that if the Federals took posses- 
sion of the city, I would, as a woman, have a grand field of 


operation. I therefore resolved to remain and see the thing 
out, and the uniform of Lieutenant Harry T. Butbrd was 
carefully put away for future use if need be, and tlie wearer 
thereof assumed the garments of a non-combatant feminine 
for the purpose of witnessing the entry of the victors into 
the captured city. 



Capture of Island No. lo. —The impendino; Attack on New Orleans.— 
The unsatisfactory Military Situation. — Confidence of Everybody in the 
River Defences. — My Apprehensions of Defeat. — The Fall of New 
Orleans. — Excitement in the City on the News of the Passage of the 
Forts being received. — I resolve to abandon the Career of a Soldier,and 
to resume the Garments of my own Sex. Appearance of the Fleet op- 
posite the City. — Immense Destruction of Property. — My Congratula- 
tions to Captain Bailey of the Navy. — Mayor Monroe's Refusal to raise 
the Federal Flag. — General Butler assumes Command of the City. — 
Butler's Brutality. — I procure the foreign Papers of an English Lady, 
and strike up an Acquaintance with the Provost Marshal. — Am intro- 
duced to other Officers, and through them gain Access to Headquarters. — 
Colonel Butler furnishes me with the necessary Passes to get through the 
Lines. — I drive an active Trade in Drugs and Confederate Money while 
carrying Information to and fro. — Preparations for a grand final Specu- 
lation in Confederate Money. — I am intrusted with a Despatch for the 
" Alabama," and am started for Havana. 

OLLOWING close upon the defeat at Shiloh 
came the fall of Island No. 10, a disaster of 
great moment to the Confederacy, for the 
strength of its fortifications had been much 
relied upon to check the advance of the Fed- 
erals down the Mississippi River ; and the loss 
'of the position almost simultaneously with the Shiloh 
affair was well calculated to inspire gloomy appre- 
hensions for the future. I heard the news that Island 
No. 10 had been captured, after reaching New Or- 
leans, and the fact that the enemy had been successful in 
forcing so strong a defence with comparative ease, taken in 
connection with the radical inefficiency of many of the mili- 
tary preparations being made for the defence of the city, pre- 
vented me from sharing the extreme confidence so many 
people expressed, and that so many undoubtedly felt, with 
regard to the entire safety of New Orleans. If a strong fort 



like Island No. 10 could be taken, why should not the Fed- 
erals, especially if" they made the attack with a proper vigor, 
be able to overcome any resistance the defences of New 
Orleans — in many respects not by any means so strong — 
would be able to make ? 

Exactly when or where the blow would be struck, however, 
it was impossible to tell. The general impression was that 
the attack would be made by the army under General Butler, 
and how really formidable the Federal fleet was, few, if any, 
had any real notion. I suppose that scarcely any one im- 
agined the ships would make an unsupported effort to pass the 
fortifications below the city, or that they would succeed in 
doing so in case the attempt was made. I knew little or 
nothing about the river defences, or the preparations that were 
being made to receive a naval attack, from my own observa- 
tions, but from what I understood with regard to them, I felt 
tolerably assured of their efficiency, and my chief concern was 
about the ineflSciency of the measures adopted to resist a land 

The Federal Fleet passes the Fort. 

The Federal fleet, however, to the surprise of every one, suc- 
ceeded in overcoming the obstructions in the river, and in 
passing the two principal forts, after a desperate battle, and 
then New Orleans was at the mercy of the naval gunners, 
specimens of whose methods of fighting had been exhibited to 
me at Fort Donelson and Shiloh in such a manner as to inspire 
me with a wholesome dislike for the kind of missiles they 
were in the habit of throwing. The gunboats I had encoun- 
tered at Fort Donelson and 8hiloh Avere, however, very differ- 
ent affairs from the ships which fought their way past Forts 
Jackson and St. Philip, — a broadside from a frigate like the 
Hartford ought almost to have routed an entire army ; and 
when I saw these splendid vessels appearing off the levee, 
I began to have a greater respect for the power of the Federal 
government than I had had before, and a greater appreciation 
of the weakness of the Confederacy. 

But while I was thus compelled to appreciate more forcibly 
than I had done the enormous difficulties in the way of a suc- 
cessful termination of the contest, I was no more in a mood for 
surrendering than I was at the beginning. Indeed, defeat and 
disaster only nerved me to make greater exertions than ever, 
and I held in utter contempt those weak-hearted people who, 


when the news that the fleet had passed the forts and was on 
its wa}' up to the city reached us, were willing to regard the 
game for which tliey were playing as lost, and the Confederate 
cause as practically overthrown. I was for fighting the thing 
out so long as we had a foot of ground to fight on, but I saw 
very clearly that if anything was to be gained now, in the 
face of the heavy disasters that were overtaking us, strata- 
gem as well as force would have to be called into play, and 
that we would be compelled to combat the enemy's strength 
with cunning. 


I felt particularly that the time was now come for me to 
make a display of my talents in another character than that of 
a warrior, and the arrival of the fleet in front of the city found 
me in the anxious and angry crowd on the levee, not inele- 
gantly attired in the appropriate garments of my sex — gar- 
ments that I had not worn for so long that they felt strangely 
unfamiliar, although I was not altogether displeased at having 
a fair opportunity to figure once more as a woman, if only for 
Variety sake. 

Strange to say, the capture of New Orleans did not afi'ect 
me near so unpleasantly as the defeats at Fort Donelson and 
Shiloh, and I felt nothing of the depression of spirit that over- 
came me after these battles. This may have been because I 
was getting accustomed to defeat now, and was consequently 
able to bear up under it more philosophically, although it is 
more than probable that it was because I was not one of the 
combatants, and consequently did not have that overpowering 
individual interest that a combatant must feel if he cares 
anything for his cause. I experienced less of that peculiarly 
disagreeable feeling of personal chagrin and disappointment 
that oppresses a soldier belonging to a beaten army. The 
fact, however, that when the Federals obtained possession of 
the city I would probably be able to do some detective duty 
in a style that would not only be satisfying to my own ambi- 
tion, but damaging to the enemy, and of essential service to 
the Confederacy, really enabled me to behold the approach of 
the fleet with a considerable degree of what almost might be 
called satisfaction. As a woman, and especially as a Avoman 
who had facilities for appearing as a representative of either 
sex, I knew that I would be able to observe the enemy's move- 


ments, and ferret out their plans in a signally advantageous 
manner: and, confident that my cunning and skill would enable 
me to perioral an important work, I was really anxious to see 
the enemy occupy the city, in order that I might try conclu- 
sions ■with them, having ample confidence that I would prove 
myself a match for the smartest Yankee of them all. 

I was the more willing to try and distinguish myself in a 
new field, as I had amply demonstrated to my own satis- 
faction, and to that of thousands of the best fighting men of 
the Confederate armies, that I lacked nothing of the valorous 
disposition of a soldier, and that I could stand without flinching 
before the hottest fire of the enemy, and I aspired to win 
fresh laurels by pei'forming services of a kind that would re- 
quire an exertion of all my intellectual faculties,and that would, 
if I were to be even reasonably successful, bring me more real 
credit, and more enduring fame, than almost any performances 
in the field that I might undertake. After nearly a year of 
service, I was just beginning to appreciate the fact that I 
occupied a unique position, and that my efforts would be 
almost profitless, alike to me and. to the Confederate cause, if I 
was content merely to figure as an additional combatant when 
the actual clash of battle came ; and while I did not regret, 
for a great variety of reasons, my experiences in the field, I 
was very well satisfied to abandon, for a while at least, a 
soldier's life for the purpose of undertaking work more natu- 
rally congenial than campaigning, and for which my sex, com- 
bined with my soldierly training, peculiarly fitted me. My 
experimental trip to Washington satisfied me that it was as a 
detective, rather than as a soldier, that my best successes were 
to be won ; and now that one of my most important surmises, 
based upon almost the barest hints obtained on that trip, was 
proven to have been well founded, I was inspired by a special 
zeal to carry out intentions which I had been revolving in my 
mind ever since my visit to the Federal capital. These inten- 
tions I had intended to carry out long before, and had I ac- 
cepted the invitation to return to Virginia, which I received 
some time before the battle of Fort Donelson, I doubtless 
would, long ere this, have been actively employed in passing 
through the Federal lines in search of information. The 
acceptance of that invitation was, however, delayed, and finally- 
abandoned, and circumstances prevented my making a very 
serious efibrt to become an active attache of the detective 
corps up to the date of the fall of New Orleans. With the 


capture of that city, however, I concluded that my great op- 
portunit}" had come, and that now it depended upon myself, 
rather than upon the favor or whim of some commanding 
officer, whether I should give the cause the benefit of my best 
talents or not. The opportunity I embraced with the utmost 
eagerness, and with a resolve to make myself as troublesome 
as possible to the conquerors of New Orleans. 

General Lovell, who was in command, so soon as he saw 
that the fleet had passed the forts, posted up to the city in hot 
haste, and began to make preparations for leaving, and for 
destroying all the cotton and other property that would be 
likeh' to be particularly useful to the enemy. The wildest 
excitement prevailed when it was understood that New Or- 
leans was about to fall into the hands of the Federals, and great 
wrath and indignation were excited by what Avas believed 
to be the inefficiency of the defence. Without waiting to argue 
the matter, however, with the angry citizens, General Lovell 
turned over the responsibility of making terms with the victors 
to Maj'or Monroe, and got away with the remnant of his army 
as fast as he was able. 

The Fleet appears off the City. 

Late in the morning of the 25th of April, 1862, the Federal 
fleet could be seen coming up the river, but it must have 
dampened the enthusiasm of the Yankee sailors somewhat to 
find steamboats, cotton, and all kinds of combustible property 
blazing for miles along the levee. It was a terribly magnifi- 
cent spectacle, but one the like of which I earnestly hoped I 
might never witness again, for it fairly made me shudder to 
see millions of dollars worth of property being utterly de- 
stroyed in this reckless manner, and it impressed me more 
strongly with an idea of the horrors of warfare than all the 
fighting and slaughter I had ever seen done. There seemed, 
however, to be no help for it, and General Lovell was probably 
justified in giving the order he did, and thereby diminishing 
the value of the prize which the Federals had won. 

It was about one o'clock when the fleet came in front of the 
city, and the vessels, one by one, dropped their anchors. A 
demand for a surrender was brought on shore by Captain 
Bailey, who went up to the City Hall to have a conference with 
the mayor. I was on the alert to commence operations as soon 
as possible, and, desirous of being in favor with the captors, I 


sought an opportunity to speak to Captain Bailey, and to wel- 
come him to the city. He shook hands with me, and said that 
he would see me again ; but he had no time for conversation 
just tlien, and as my object was accomplished by introducing 
myself to his notice as a pretended friend of his cause, I did 
not make any endeavor to further attract his attention. 

Mayor Monroe behaved nobly when he was asked to sur- 
render the city. He said that the city was without defence, 
and at the mercy of the conquerors, but that it was not within 
his province as a municipal officer to surrender. He declined 
to raise the United States flag over the public buildings, or to 
do anything that would seem a recognition of the right of the 
Federals in any way to regulate affairs in New Orleans by any- 
thing else than the law of force. When I read his reply to 
Farragut's demand for a surrender, I readily forgave my pri- 
vate grievance against him. The mayor having positively 
refused to have anything to do with displaying the United 
States flag, or with lowering the flag of Louisiana, the raising 
of the stars and stripes on the public buildings was done by 
the sailors from the Federal fleet. 


The United States flag which was raised upon the mint was 
pulled down again by Mumford, who paid the penalty of his 
life for the act after Butler took command of the city. The 
execution of this young man was an outrage on civilization, 
and a crime on the part of the man who ordered it which en- 
titles his memory to execration. Mumford told me himself 
that he perpetrated the act through a mistaken idea that the 
flag had been displayed by some traitor, and that he was not 
aware at the time that the Federals had assumed control of the 
city. The execution of Mumford was a fair specimen of the 
many dastardly actions perpetrated by Butler during the reign 
of terror that he inaugurated, and that will cause his name to 
be remembered with hatred in New Orleans, and, indeed," 
throughout the whole South, long after the ordinary passions 
of the war have died out. 

When Butler took command, which he did on May 1st, he 
issued orders stopping the circulation of Confederate currency, 
directing the people to resume their usual avocations, and 
giving everybody to understand that he intended to have his 
own Avay. 


It is not necessary, in a merely personal narrative like this, 
to go into any details with regard to Butler's rule in New 
Orleans. The execution of Mumford for what, according to 
the worst construction that could be put upon it, was a very 
venial offence, and what in reality was a mere act of indis- 
cretion, utterly unworthy of notice, after the Federals were 
in full control of the city, and his infamous " woman order," 
are specimens of the manner in which he conducted himself, 
and they were acts that speak too loudly for themselves to 
require comment. 

Plans for Circumventing Butler. 

I soon perceived that with such a brute as this man Butler 
to deal with, it would be necessary for me to be extremely 
circumspect, and to bring my best strategic talents to bear, if 
I expected to accomplish anything. I was well acquainted 
with the city and environs, and knew exactly how to go about 
slipping in and out through, the lines; but to carry on such 
operations as I proposed with a reasonable degree of safety 
and assurance of success, it was necessary — especially after 
the deposition of Mayor Monroe, by Butler's order, and the 
placing of the city under martial law — for me to keep all my 
wits about me, and to take care to be on good terms with 
those in authority. 

I therefore set to work with due diligence and persistency 
to gain the confidence of the Federal officers. Some of them 
I found to be very pleasant, gentlemanly fellows, who were 
disposed to make themselves as agreeable as possible to every- 
body, and who were much gratified to hear any one — espe- 
cially any woman — express Union sentiments. Many of 
them did not at all approve of the offensive manner in which 
Butler conducted himself, and some of his orders were carried 
out with a great deal of reluctance by those intrusted with 
their execution. With some of these officers I soon managed 
to get on very friendly terms, and they were always so polite 
and considerate in their treatment of myself and others, that 
I greatly regretted the necessity of deceiving them. 

I, however, had objects in view with which my private 
friendships and personal feelings could not be permitted to 
interfere, and in all my conversations and communications 
with the officers of Butler's command, I never lost sight of 
opportunities to serve the Confederate cause. Following up 


the line of policy I had determined upon when I introduced 
myself to Captain Bailey, I professed strong Union sentiments, 
and took occasion, whenever in the presence of officers or sol- 
diers, to denounce the cause I loved, and the welfare of which 
I was so anxious to promote. Tliis line of conduct had the de- 
sired etlect, lor I soon became known as one of the few stanch 
advocates of the Federal government in New Orleans, and not 
only secured myself from molestation, but gained the entire 
confidence of our new rulers. My Southern friends, who could 
not understand what I was driving at, were, of course, alien- 
ated from me, much to my regret and sorrow ; but this could 
not be helped, for it was absolutely necessary, in a matter of 
this kind, that I should have no confidants, and should depend 
entirely upon myself. My secret, so long as I was the sole 
possessor of it, was safe, which it assuredly would not have 
been under such a system of espionage as that established by 
Butler, had I intrusted it to any one, or had I failed in the 
slightest particular to sustain the character of a devoted 
Unionist, which I had assumed. It was better for me to risk 
the temporary loss of my friends, in the hope and expectation 
that the vindication of my conduct would come with time, 
than to risk anything by an incautious word, or even look ; and 
I accepted the consequences of a thorough performance of 
the duties I had assigned myself without hesitation, and with 
a resolute determination to give Butler as much annoyance as 
was in my power. 


I had a stroke of good luck in the very beginning. An 
English lady, with whom I had become slightly acquainted, 
was on the point of returning to her own country, having 
come to the conclusion that Old England was a quieter, and 
on the whole more agreeable place of residence, just at that 
time, than America, for a person who, like herself, had no 
interest in the contest that was being carried on, but who 
was pretty certain, if she remained, to suffer numerous incon- 
veniences and hardships. This lady was decidedly friendly, 
however, to the Confederate cause, as, indeed, were all the 
foreign residents of New Orleans, and she would willingly 
have aided it in any way that she could without getting her- 
self in trouble. As matters stood, however, she was anxious 
to get away as soon as possible, the capture of the city by the 


Federals, with its attendant horrors, combined with a pros- 
pect that the Confederates would before long probably make a 
desperate attempt to regain it, not having the most soothing 
effect upon her nerves. Hearing that she was about to leave, 
I went to her, and expressed a desire to purchase her pass- 
port and other foreign papers, confident that, armed with such 
documents as these, I would be able to make a fair start 
against the Federal authorities, and gain some immediate ad- 
vantages that would probably be otherwise out of the ques- 
tion. The lady readily consented to part with the papers for 
a fair price, being glad to get the money I offered for them, 
and she either believed, or affected to believe, the story which 
I told to account for my eagerness to possess them. There 
was, in fact, however, no particular necessity for romancing 
to any great extent on such a subject as this ; for in the ter- 
ror and confusion incident to the abandonment of the city by 
the Confederates and its occupation by the Federals, and in 
the great uncertainty with regard to what the near future 
would bring forth, it was the most natural thing in the world 
that a lone and unprotected woman like myself should desire 
to have the means at hand of escaping from any claims to 
allegiance that either party might present, and of invoking 
the protection of some foreign power. 

A Talk with the Provost Marshal. 

Armed with my British papers, I went to the office of the 
provost marshal for the purpose of striking up an acquaint- 
ance with that gentleman, he being the person it was most 
immediately important for me to have dealings with, and to 
gain the confidence of. On requesting an interview, I was 
ushered into the provost marshal's presence, and introducing 
myself to him under the name I had decided to assume, told 
him that I was heartily glad to welcome the army of the 
United States to New Orleans, and that I hoped this wretched 
contest would soon be at an end, and the stars and stripes 
acknowledged everywhere once more. 

He seemed to be a little surprised, and even suspicious, at 
my warmth of manner, and giving me a rather keen look, 
which I bore without flinching, he asked me, with some 
brusqueness, but at the same time not impolitely, if I had 
taken the oath yet. 

This was a rather delicate question, and as I had not, and 


did not intond to tako the oath he alluded to, I concluded 
to waive it, and avoid giving a direct answer. I therefore 
replied that I was a Northern woman, and that my father 
was a New Yorker, but that, being in New Orleans at the 
time of the establishment of the blockade, I had been unable 
to conununicate with my friends at the North and in England, 
or to get away. This was all plausible enough, and the 
provost 'marshal accepted it as a genuine statement of my 
case, apparently without hesitation, although he did not let 
me off without some cross-questioning. 

" Have you a family?" said he. 

" No, sir," I replied, with as sad and mournful an expression 
as I could put on, "I am a widow ; my husband was an 
Englishman, and on his death he left me in quite comfortable 
circumstances. I have, however, lost everything by these 
wretched rebels, who have destroyed my property, and robbed 
me without mercy." While indulging in this recital of my 
troubles I wiped my eyes with my pocket handkerchief, tried 
my best to squeeze out a tear or two, and looked as sorrow- 
stricken as I possibly could. 

The provost marshal, if he did not exactly overflow with 
sympathy, appeared desirous of doing what he could for me, 
and asked where I lived. 

I replied that, owing to my reduced circumstances I was 
unable to keep house, as I had been doing up to the breaking 
out of the war, and that I was occupying a rented room, 
which, small as it was, I was doubtful about being able to 
keep unless I heard from my friends soon, or was able to ob- 
tain some employment by which I could make a little money. 
I then told him what my number was, and after some further 
conversation, chiefly about my poverty, the wrongs I liad suf- 
fered from the rebels, and the difficulty of making ends meet, 
I informed him that I had come from England to New Orleans 
with my late husband, some years before the war, and that I 
proposed to return there so soon as I received a sufficient 
remittance. The provost marshal expressed a willingness to 
aid me in any way that lay in his power, and I bowed myself 
out of his presence, feeling tolerably confident that I had pro- 
duced the impression I wished, and that, if I managed mat- 
ters discreetly, he and I would have no difficulty in getting 
along with each other. 

The next day I met the provost marshal again. He ap- 
peared to be quite pleased to see me, and introduced me to 


two oiScers of the thirty-first Massachusetts regiment. They 
were both gentlemen, with whom it would have been a pleas- 
ure for me to have formed a real friendship under any other 
circumstances ; but, as my only object in making their ac- 
quaintance was that I might be able to use them as instru- 
ments for the accomplishment of my purposes as a Confed- 
erate agent, I of course did not permit my personal liking for 
them to interfere with the grand objects I had in view. 
They, on their side, appeared to be not a little gratified to 
find at least one woman in New Orleans who professed a de- 
cided partiality for the stars and stripes, — for such women 
were rare in those days, — and they showed a marked inclina- 
tion to continue the acquaintance. I accordingly invited 
them to call upon me, and soon managed to establish such 
friendly relations Avith them that, through their influence, I 
gained access to headquarters. 

General Butler I fought shy of, for I did not like his looks, 
and concluded to have as little to do with him as possible. I 
met his brother, Colonel Butler, however, who was the power 
behind the throne, and who managed most of the transactions 
which had any money in them, which the general could not 
have openly touched without exciting comment, and probably 
getting himself into trouble. Both the general and the 
colonel were decidedly on the make, and were bent on im- 
proving the chances which the practically unlimited control 
of one of the richest cities on the continent gave them for 
bettering their fortunes. The colonel, however, could attend 
to mere pocket-filling operations to better advantage than his 
brother, and it soon became well understood that he was the 
one to apply to, if any favors from headquarters were desired. 

I OBTAIN Passes to go th'rough the Lines. 

From Colonel Butler I obtained permits to go to Mandeville, 
on the other side of Lake Pontchartrain, and even to visit 
Mobile, without being searched. With these papers in my 
possession, I set about preparing for a career of some activity 
in the way of running through the lines and communicating 
with the Confederate authorities. Having the same desire as 
the two Butlers to earn a dollar or so when I could, and, if 
possible, without stealing, I engaged quite extensively in the 
drug business, while performing the duties of a special mes- 
senger and bearer of Confederate despatches. Drugs of all 


kinds were very scarce within the Confederate lines, and 
consequently brought enormous prices ; so that any one who 
could manage to smuggle them past the Federal outposts was 
certain of reaping a handsome profit. I succeeded in obtain- 
ing a good quantity of this kind of merchandise from the dif- 
ferent hospitiils, and, as I could carry many dollars' worth 
about my person without attracting particular attention, I 
much more than made my expenses on the several trips I 
undertook to Mandeville and beyond. Confederate money 
was also cheap, as well as plenty, in New Orleans, as every- 
body had some of it ; while, under Butler's orders, it could 
not be used. It therefore ofiered fine opportunities for spec- 
ulation to any one who could carry it to where it was of more 
value than it was in New Orleans just at that time. I there- 
fore invested quite heavily in Confederate promises to pay, 
and, as with the drugs, contrived to make the speculation pay 

Having made several trips with success and with much 
profit, I began to think that I was, perhaps, making out with 
my enterprises entirely too well ; and, apprehensive of getting 
into some difficulty which I might not be able to get out of as 
easily as I could wish, — for I saw a number of indications of 
trouble ahead, — I resolved, while on one of my expeditions, 
after a consultation with my Confederate friends, to return to 
New Orleans, for the purpose of buying up a quantity of 
the proscribed money, and then to leave for good, getting out 
of Butler's power while I had a fair chance of doing so. 
This arrangement fell through, however; for I was persuaded 
to make a trip to Havana, tor the purpose of carrying a de- 
spatch to the Confederate cruiser, the " 290," or " Alabama," 
as she was otherwise called, and of transacting some other 
business of a secret character for advancing the interests of 
the Confederacy. This commission I accepted with eager- 
ness, and returned to New Orleans with what haste I could, 
with the despatch secreted on my person, for the purpose of 
taking the first vessel for Havana. 



A Trip to Havana. — My Purposes in making the Journey. — The Results 
of a Year of Warfare. — Gloomy Prospects. — A Gleam of Hope in 
Virginia. — The Delights of a Voyage on the Gulf of Mexico. — The 
Island of Cuba in Sight. — The Approach to Havana. — I communicate 
with the Confederate Agents and deliver my Despatches. — An Inter- 
change of valuable Information. — The Business of Blockade-running 
and its enormous Profits. — The Injury to the Business caused by the 
Capture of New Orleans. — My Return to New Orleans and Prepara- 
tion for future Adventures. 

HE idea of making a trip to Havana was very 
agreeable to me for a number of reasons. My 
health was not so robust as it had been, and 
my wounded arm, although it had healed up, 
was still very sore, and hurt me severely at 
times. It was an impossibility for me to keep 
quiet so long as I was in the midst of associations 
calculated to excite me and to stimulate the combative- 
ness of my nature, and I needed more than anything 
else, for restoration to perfect health, such a rest as a 
sea voyage alone could give. There was, it is true, some 
risks in visiting Havana at this season, but I was acclimated, 
and did not worry myself much with fears of yellow fever or 
other diseases, my mind being too intently fixed on a variety 
of other matters that I esteemed of more consequence. 

The most important reason for my wishing to take a run 
over there was, a desire to make the acquaintance of the 
Confederate agents, and to learn something of their methods 
of transacting business in the way of sending communications 
through the lines, for, even when the blockade could not be 
run with goods, it was often possible to smuggle important 
information past the Federal cruisers, and, some of the post 
lines Avere so complete, that, in spite of the vigilance of their 
enemies, the beleaguered Confederates managed to maintain 



correspondence very regularly with their friends of the out- 
side world. 

My brief experience had convinced me that I had peculiar 
talents for the kind of work in which I had been engaged 
since the advent of Butler and his forces in New Orleans, 
and my only regret was, that I had not made a persistent 
eflbrt to take it up sooner. I determined now, however, to 
qualify myself as quickly as possible for the business of a 
spy and a bearer of despatches, for I felt assured that there 
would be plenty of employment found for me before the war 
was over, and that if I proved myself skilful and reHable, the 
Confederate authorities would avail themselves of my services 
with an alacrity they had not shown when I was skirmishing 
around in the character of a little dandy independent lieuten- 
ant, seeking to have a hand in every fight. 

A Discouraging Outlook. 

The military situation in some of its aspects was gloomy 
enough. In the West we had occasional successes, but their 
permanent value was little or nothing, while the enemy was 
steadily advancing and making the beleaguerment of the 
Confederacy more complete every day. The loss of New 
Orleans was a bewildering blow, from which there was no 
recovery but by the retaking of the city, and the prospects 
that we would be able to do this very soon were not particu- 
larly promising. In the mean time the Federals were evident- 
ly working resolutely to gain possession of the Mississippi 
River throughout its entire length, and strong as were the for- 
tifications at Vicksburg and other points, I had not that faith 
in their invincibility I once would have had. I had seen too 
many positions proclaimed invincible and defended with valor, 
fall before the Federal attacks, for me to have anything of 
my old-time faith in the irresistible valor of Southern soldiers 
or the masterly generalship of Southern commanders. The 
old boast which I was accustomed to hear so often at the out- 
break of the war, that one Southerner could whip five Yan- 
kees, had turned out to be mere boasting, and nothing more. 
The Federals, while they did not have all the dash and elan 
of the Confederates, had proved their fighting qualities on 
too many well-contested fields for the old-fashioned talk about 
the superiority of Southern prowess to be in order ; and they 
had a way, when they once captured an important position, of 


staying there, in spite of all efforts to dislodge them, that did 
not promise at all well for the future of the cause. 

Were it not that the news from Virginia was in some degree 
encouraging, I should have been almost willing to have con- 
cluded, that we were indeed nearing the last ditch, which 
some of our orators were so fond of alluding to. There, how- 
ever, the Confederate soldiers \7ere indeed winning laurels, 
and the capture of Richmond was as apparently as far off' as 
it was when I turned my back upon it to seek my fortune in 
the West. If our brave boys under Lee, therefore, could 
only improve the summer as the winter had been imj^roved in 
the West by the Federals, there would be some hope that, 
after ail, we might win the desperate game we were playing, 
and accomplish substantially all for which we took up arms. 

Effects of the Blockade. 

In the mean time, however, things were in a bad way in 
many respects in the beleaguered Coftfederacy. The coast 
blockade was now fully established, and the enemy's lines 
were drawn so close along the principal avenues of communi- 
cation with the outside world and the interior, that our com- 
merce was completely killed, and our people were already 
suffering for many of the necessities of life, while the require- 
ments of warfare with a powerful enemy, amply provided 
with resources, were impoverishing them more and more 
every day. Whole districts had been devastated b}^ the 
manoeuvrings of the different armies, and the suffering 
among the poorer classes throughout the entire South was 
very great, while many persons, who were possessed of ample 
wealth before the war, were now feeling the pinchings of 
poverty, and were learning what it was not to know where the 
next meal was coming from. 

It was truly a pitiable condition of affairs ; and the worst 
of it was, that there was no promise of speedy amendment. 
If these were the results of one year of warfare, what would 
be the condition of things, should the conflict be prolonged 
for another twelvemonth ? Alas ! it was prolonged, not for 
one more year merely, but for three ; and when the dreadful 
day of total irremediable defeat — to which some of us, at the 
time which I am now referring to, were already uneasily 
and unwillingly looking forward — finally came, the South was 
" literally exhausted, as no other country ever had been before. 


While L could not help reflecting deeply on the discourage- 
ment of the situation, and feeling uneasy with regard to the 
future, it was not my disposition to brood over possibly 
imaginary misfortunes, or to allow myself to be unnerved by 
disasters that might never happen. I believed in making tho 
most of the present, and I knew that the only way in which 
success ever could be achieved, would be by those who really 
had the interest of tho cause at heart laboring incessantly, 
and in the face of every discouragement, with all the energy 
at their command. The difficulties of the situation, indeed, 
inspired me with a sort of enthusiasm which I had not felt 
before, and the particular sort of duty which I had now taken 
up wa|pso decidedly congenial, and promised to be so full of 
exciting adventures, that there was a positive enjoyment to 
be got from it, such as mere campaigning did not yield. 

Off for Havana. 

I started off for Havana, therefore, in anticipation of a 
particularly pleasant cruise, which would not only be ben- 
eficial to my health, but which would afford me an agree- 
able change of scene, and at the same time give me facil- 
ities for carrying on the line of operations I proposed to the 
best advantage. 

Leaving the turbulent current and the muddy banks of the 
Mississippi behind me, the vessel upon which I embarked 
was soon ploughing her way througli the beautiful blue waters ' 
of the Gulf of Mexico, pointed towards my native city — a 
city that 1 had not visited since I left it years ago, when a 
child, to go to New Orleans for the purpose of completing my 
education. _ It was upon these waters, and in their vicinity, 
that my adventure-loving ancestors had achieved renown and 
wealth in making explorations and conquests of the New World 
discovered by Columbus. Not far from the track of the ship 
in wliich I was now speeding towards Havana had sailed the 
expedition fitted out by old Governor Don Diego Valazquez, 
which discovered Mexico, and prepared the way for the bril- 
liant exploits of Cortez and his followers, while the whole 
Gulf and its surrounding shores were alive with memories 
of the valiant deeds of the valiant people of my father's 

Nothing more delightful than a cruise on the Gulf of Mexico 
during the summer season can be imagined. The water is 


I r^-.r-'Tb-s:, Pa. I 


deeply, darkly, beautifully blue, — a blue totally unlike that of 
the Atlantic Ocean, and one of the loveliest of colors, — and 
to sail upon the broad bosom of this sea of sapphire, for three 
or four days in fine weather, with just breeze enough to make 
the spray fly from the tops of the waves, is one of the rarest 
enjoyments that life affords. I certainly enjoyed it, and every 
warm sea breeze that fanned my cheeks brought health, 
strength, and exhilaration of spirits with it. Thiawas just 
what I wanted to revive me after the trials and sufferings — 
physical and mental — of the past twelve months, and to pre- 
pare me for the trying duties yet to be performed. 

Approaching Cuba. ^ 

At length, far in the distance, the lofty Cuban highlands 
were seen, resting like a faint blue cloud on the horizon, but 
taking shape as we approached, until, from the misty outlines, 
the mountain forms began to disclose themselves, and finally 
cities, villages, and even single houses and trees were revealed. 
It seemed like going into another world ; for anything more 
unlike the low, flat, and unpicturesque country which I had 
just left, could scarcely be imagined, and I not only felt proud 
of my beautiful native island, but I wondered not that Spain 
should cling with such tenacity to this the fairest, and now the 
only really important portion of the great dominion which 
her valorous sons had centuries before conquered for her in 
the New AVbrld. At the same time, I begrudged that this fair 
island should be the dependency of a foreign power ; for I 
was, despite my Spanish ancestry, an American, heart and 
soul, and if there was anything that could have induced me to 
abandon the cause of the Southern Confederacy, it would have 
been an attempt on the part of the Cubans to have liberated 
themselves from the Spanish yoke. 

As Ave approached Cuba, and as the beautiful island seemed 
to rise out of the sea before us, revealing more and more of 
its surpassing loveliness, I wondered within myself whether 
such an attempt would not some day — and some day soon — 
be made, and more than half resolved that should the Cubans 
strike a blow for independence, I would join my fortunes to 
theirs, and serve their cause with the same assiduity that I 
was now serving that of the Confederacy. 

After a voyage which had been to me one of uninterrupted 
pleasure, our ship dropped anchor before the city of Havana. 


No city on the globe has been more fitly named ; for this har- 
bor is unsurpassed, and nestles beneath the sliadow of the 
vine-clad hills, — a broad, land-locked basin, in which the navies 
of the world might float. While not insensible to the beauties 
of the spectacle which the place of my nativity and its sur- 
roundings presented to the eye, I was too full of other 
thoughts just at that moment to give myself up to the enjoy- 
ment of it, as I might have done at another time, and was as 
eager to get on shore and execute my commission, as if my 
brief sojourn on shipboard had been a thraldom to me instead 
of a source of real pleasure. 

Landing in Havana. 

I, therefore, landed at the earliest possible moment ; and 
making my way through streets that seemed strangely famil- 
iar, and among people speaking my native tongue, which 
sounded most oddly after the long years since I had been ac- 
customed to hear it habitually spoken, I succeeded in finding 
the Confederate agent, into whose trusty hands I had been 
directed to place my despatches for the "Alabama." This 
important commission having been satisfactorily executed, my 
chief responsibilities were at an end, and I was at liberty to 
gratify my curiosity and my desire to learn all that could be 
learned that was likely to be of service to me in any future 
enterprises in which I might be engaged. 

I confidently expected to visit Havana again, and, perhaps, 
many times before the end of the war, and therefore was 
anxious to make the most of the present opportunity for gain- 
ing all the information I was able that would in any way aid 
me in the successful prosecution of such exploits as I might 
hereafter think it expedient to undertake. 

The friends of the Confederacy, with whom I was thrown in 
contact, were eager to obtain all the news they could with re- 
gard to the progress of events, the present situation of affairs, 
and the prospect for the immediate future. I was able to tell 
them a great many things that surprised them, and to give 
them much important information that would never have 
reached them through the ordinary news channels. There 
was much, of course, that I did not tell, for a great variety of 
reasons, and they were evidently puzzled to understand how 
I came to be possessed of such extensive and such accurate 
information. I was, of course, particularly reticent about the 


part I had been playing during a greater portion of the past 
year, and represented myself to be just what I then appeared, 
— a woman, who was engaged in the perilous task of running 
the lines for the purpose of carrying information. My evident 
accomplishments, and my thorough knowledge upon many 
points about which they were but meagrely informed, how- 
ever, greatly increased their respect, for me, and enabled 
me to gain confidences that otherwise might have been 

In Communication with Confederate Agents. 

From Messrs. Infanta & Co., and other prominent persons, I 
succeeded in learning much that was well worth knowing; 
and before the time came for me to say adieu to Havana, my 
brain was teeming with plans which I was all eagerness to 
execute. I found that the friends of the Confederacy were 
completely in the ascendent in Havana, and that more than 
one of its capitalists were deeply interested in the profit- 
able but hazardous business of blockade-running; although, 
through a variety of circumstances, this city was not the 
headquarters of the extensive trade which the misfortunes of 
the South were building up, and which promised to yield 
almost fabulous profits should the Avar continue for any length 
of time, as these good money-loving people evidently desired 
that it should. 

I could not help thinking, however, when I heard of the 
enormous sums of money which a single cargo yielded, in 
event of its being able to elude the Federal cruisers and the 
blockading fleet, and reach a Southern port, of the suffering 
and impoverished people at whose expense the blockade- 
runners were heaping up riches, and I wished heartily that I 
had some way of making them devote a portion of their wealth 
to the relief of the victims of cruel war, and to the advance- 
ment of the cause. I could not help acknowledging, how- 
ever, that their money was fairly earned, and that while 
accumulating magnificent profits by their operations, they 
were doing a great deal in a certain way towards sustaining 
the Confederacy in the mighty struggles it Avas making for 

The capture of New Orleans had been a great surprise to 
every one in Havana, as it doubtless was to the friends of the 
Confederacy everywhere ; and it was the cause of innumer- 


able and bitter regrets, for it effectually put a stop to blockade- 
running in that quarter, and, consequently cut off many oppor- 
tunities ibr tolerably easy money-making, which those in the 
business had hitherto enjoyed. Every one' agreed that it was 
by far the most damaging blow that the Federals had yet 
succeeded in striking at the Conl'ederacy, and not a few be- 
lieved that it was but the prelude to greater disasters, and to 
a final overthrow of the attempt which was being made to 
secure a permanent severance of the South from the North. 
All, however, were agreed that, so far as they were concerned, 
obedience to the adage, to make hay while the sun shines, was 
the only true policy ; and that, while the perils of blockade- 
running would now be greatly increased, the profits were so 
enormous as to warrant all the risks, and that the business would, 
therefore, be prosecuted with more energy than ever, while it 
would be necessary to adopt a more perfect and certain sys- 
tem of communication with the Confederate authorities. I 
was able to give a great number of valuable hints with regard 
to the best way of managing things ; and, in return, was sup- 
plied with many points which I would be likely to find useful, 
both immediately and in the future. 

My stay in Havana was of short duration ; and having ac- 
complished my errand, and learned all that I could, I proposed 
to return to New Orleans. 

Back in New Orleans. 

The return trip was as agreeable as the one out, and it 
greatly refreshed and benefited me, so that when I again set 
foot on the levee at New Orleans, I felt in better condition 
than I had been in for a long time, and was prepared for any 
amount of hard work ; and of hard work there was likely to 
be plenty to do, for Butler was tightening his grasp on the 
people, and was disposed to make his rule over them as little 
gratifying to their feelings as possible. That my old business 
of smugjoling drugs, and other matters needed by the Confed- 
erates, and of conveying information back and forth, would 
have to be carried on — if it were carried on at all — under a 
pressure of much greater difficulties than formerly, was soon 
very apparent. I was not one, however, to be appalled by 
difficulties, but was rather excited by them to exert myself 
to the utmost ; and it afforded me an immense amount of 
satisfaction that, in a quiet way, I would be able to accom- 


plish many things for which Butler would have been highly 
pleased to have strangled me, could he have discovered what 
I was about. And I did manage to do several tolerably good 
strokes of work before New Orleans became too unpleasant 
a place for me to abide in, and I was forced to the conclusion 
that it was best for me to take up my quarters elsewhere, out- 
side of Butler's jurisdiction. 




Butler's Rule in New Orleans. — A System of Terrorism. — My Ac- 
quaintance with Federal Officers.— I resume the Business of carrying 
Information through the Lines. — A Trip to Robertson's Plantation for 
the Purpose of carrying a Confederate Despatch. — A long Tramp after 
Night. — Some of the Incidents of my Journey. — The Alligators and 
Mosquitoes. — Arrival at my Destination, and Delivery of the Despatch 
to a Confederate Officer. — My hospitable Entertainment by Friends of 
the Confederacy. — My Return to New Orleans. — Capture of the 
Bearer of my Despatch, and my Arrest. — I am taken before Butler, 
who endeavors to e.xtort a Confession from me. — Butler as a Bully. — 
I refuse to confess, and am ordered to be imprisoned in the Custom- 
House. — My Release, through the Intercession of the British Consul. 
— I resolve to leave New Orleans, for fear of getting into further 
Trouble. — A Bargain with a Fisherman to take me across Lake Pont- 
chartrain. — My Escape from Butler's Jurisdiction. 

WAS astonished, sometimes, at my own good 
luck in keeping clear of controversies with the 
military authorities ; for Butler was bent on 
crushing out every indication of sympathy with 
the Confederacy, and he was most savage and 
relentless in his punishment of those who defied 
his mandates by attempting to hold communication 
with the Southern soldiery, who were only waiting for 
a proper opportunity to rescue New Orleans, and who 
were therefore anxious, of course, to understand ex- 
actly how matters stood in the city, in order that they 
might take advantage of a suitable moment, if any should 
present, for relieving its unpopular ruler of his responsibili- 
ties. The peculiar situation of New Orleans, on a narrow 
strip of land between the river and Lake Pontchartrain, and 
with numerous bayous, lakes, and other water ways in close 
proximity, was such as to make the passage back and forth of 
Confederate agents a much easier matter than it would have 
been under some circumstances. It was, however, a danger- 



ous business always, and a number of persons, of both sexes, 
who undertook to defy Butler by communicating with their 
friends in the interior, or who employed themselves in smug- 
gling goods or intelligence through the lines, were caught 
and punished ; sentences calculated to inspire terror in those 
who were capable of being terrified being imposed, without 
regard to the sex or social standing of the offenders. 

A favorite punishment, for those who managed to fall under 
the displeasure of the commanding general, was a sojourn, 
for periods of time varying according to Butler's notions of 
the gravity of their offences, on Ship Island, a desolate strip 
of sand on Mississippi Sound,. which had been used by the 
Federal forces as a rendezvous before the attack upon the 
city. Butler was compelled to live on this sandbank for a 
number of months, before Admiral Farragut made it possible 
for him to take up his abode in one of the finest residences of 
New Orleans, and he appeared to have contracted such an 
intense dislike to the place, that he could imagine no worse 
fate for those who were imprudent enough to defy his will, 
than to send them there. I came very near being obliged to 
make Ship Island my home for a time under orders from But- 
ler, and only escaped such a fat^ through my address and 
courage, and the thoroughness of the preparations I had 
made to meet such an emergency. 

Running the Lines. 

Unlike many others, I settled myself down resolutely to the 
business of running the lines, and was not satisfied with 
making a trip or two, and then either ceasing operations alto- 
gether, or else waiting until suspicion should die away before 
making another attempt. I considered myself as much in the 
Confederate service as I was when I wore the uniform of an 
officer, and I felt it my duty to be, like a soldier, always vigi- 
lant, and always ready to do the enemy all the damage I pos- 
sibly could. I therefore went about the prosecution of my 
plans systematically, taking all proper precautions, of course, 
to avoid detection, but trusting a good deal to luck and to my 
ready wit to get me out of any dijfficulty into which I might 
happen to fall. 

I had very few friends or acquaintances, for I did not care 
to be extensively known, being well aware that the more 
people there were whose attention was attracted to me, the 

i|nr,n. ii.;imiiM||»<MHi;i!;ir' -- -"^ tlli^^'i;''!iPli1l1'!!'''l'''l'llll;lli|l|l||!irilll!!l!!^^^ 



more likelihood there "would be of suspicion attaching to my 
movements. At the same time I was anxious to avoid any 
appearance of mystery, and took particular pains to let myself 
be seen frequently, and to leave the impression that I was 
what I pretended to be — a widow, in reduced circumstances, 
who was only waiting to receive money from England in 
order to return to that country. I kept up a sort of acquaint- 
ance with a few officers of the Federal army, to whom I had 
been introduced, which I was the more pleased to do as they 
were very pleasant gentlemen, and contrived, by frequent 
allusions to the subject, to fix in their minds the idea that I 
had been robbed, and otherwise outrageously maltreated by 
the Confederates, and that the arrival of the Federals was a 
source of infinite satisfaction to me. 

From these officers I sometimes succeeded in obtaining 
information that was worth having by judiciously keeping 
my ears open, or by asking an apparently innocent question 
at the proper moment. I was, however, very careful not to 
appear to question them, or to do anything that would in the 
slightest degree arouse their suspicions. My acquaintance 
with them was kept up for the purpose of having it under- 
stood at headquarters, and among the officers generally, that 
I was one of the few women in New Orleans who professed 
Union sentiments. My means of gaining intelligence were 
such as these gentlemen had little idea of, and were of such 
a character that there was no necessity for me to risk any- 
thing by imprudent conversation with them. Indeed, it was 
very evident sometimes, judging from their conversation, that 
I was very fully informed about a great many things with 
regard to which they knew little or nothing. 

I do not know whether or not Butler and his satellites 
ever suspected me, up to the time they caught me. When 
I was finally detected, and arraigned before the general, he 
tried liis best to play the bully, and to frighten me into mak- 
ing some admissions, and he intimated that I had been under 
surveillance for a long time. This, however, was probably all 
brag, or at least I chose to understand it as such ; and as I did 
not frighten at all to his satisfaction, he did not succeed in 
making a great deal out of me. 

Not a great while after my return from Havana, I under- 
took to go to Robertson's Plantation, for the purpose of send- 
ing some despatches, as well as some verbal information, to 
the Confederate forces stationed at Franklin. It was neces- 


sary for me to make the trip after nightfall, and to walk the 
entire distance of seventeen miles ; and that such a tramp 
could scarcely be a particularly pleasant exercise, those who 
are acquainted with the country around New Orleans need 
not be reminded. I was not to be deterred, however, any 
more by the personal inconveniences involved in my under- 
taking the expedition, than I was by any perils I was likely 
to encounter, and set off, tlierefore, resolved to accomplish my 
errand, if its accomplishment were possible. 

A Long Walk after Night. 

I had not much difficulty in getting past the outposts, and 
once sure that I was out of sight and sound of the Federal 
pickets, I started off at a steady pace, bent upon getting over 
as much ground as I could before daylight came and rendered 
it necessary for me to be more cautious in my movements. I 
made pretty good time, but did not get along as fast as I 
would have done had I been in male attire, and long before I 
reached my destination I heartily wished that it had been 
possible for me to have donned a masculine habit in safety ; 
for a woman's skirts are not adapted for fast travelling on a 
Louisiana highway, on a sultry summer's night, with only the 
stars and the fire-flies to lighten the pathway. 

It was a terribly lonesome walk. After getting past the 
pickets, I did not meet with a single human being throughout 
the whole of my long and weary journey. The only sounds 
to be heard were the barking of the alligators, or the splash- 
ing of one of these monsters as he plunged into the stream at 
my approach, I was frequently startled by the sounds made 
by these horrid animals close at hand after a considerable 
interval of silence, but pushed on resolutely despite them, 
and despite the swarms of mosquitoes, which seemed to in- 
crease in number as I proceeded, and which occasioned me 
infinite annoyance. Whenever I sat down to rest, which I 
was compelled to do a number of times before my journey 
was completed, these venomous insects attacked me with the 
greatest fury, and my face and hands were terribly bitten 
before I was able to escape from them. These were some of 
the delights of my long night walk for the purpose of fulfilling 
my mission as a bearer of despatches, and it was an immense 
relief to me when, just about daybreak, I reached my destina- 
tion, foot-sore and completely tired out, but satisfied with 


having accomplished my errand without having been inter- 

The Despatch Delivered. 

I found some Confederate soldiers preparing to cross the 
lake, and, going to one of them, who seemed to be in command 
of the party, I told him a number of things which I had 
thought it more prudent not to commit to writing, and desired 
him to pass the word along. Then, waiting until the boat 
was ready to set sail, I gave him an enclosure containing my 
despatches, asking him, if possible, to deliver it at headquar- 
ters, or if ho was unable to do this, to drop it at the earliest 
moment in the post-office. 

I cautioned him particularly, and with the greatest earnest- 
ness, to be exceedingly careful of the package, as it contained 
matters of vital importance, upon which a great deal was 
dependent. He promised a faithful compliance with my 
instructions, and jumping into the boat, he and his compan- 
ions shoved off from the shore, and Avere soon lost in the heavy 
mist that rested upon the surface of the lake. 

My responsibilities, so far as the custody of the despatches 
was concerned, were now at an end, and with a light heart, 
but tired limbs, I sought some place where I could obtain 
refreshment, and the repose I so badly needed, before I at- 
tempted to return to the city. Going to a house near by, I 
asked for something to eat, and an opportunity to rest myself. 
Two gentlemen appeared and gave me a very cordial wel- 
come, for they understood, without questioning me, what my 
errand was, and they were anxious to do all in their power to 
make me comfortable. 

Friends in Need. 

I was in a most dilapidated condition, and was anything but 
a presental)le object, or one calculated to figure with advan- 
tage at the breakfast-table of a respectable family. My 
clothing was heavy with the night dews, and my skirts were 
bedraggled with dirt ; my shoes were nearly worn through, 
and were covered with mud; and, taking me altogether, I 
was as forlorn a looking creature as could he imagined. 

My entertainers, however, knew how to excuse appear- 
ances; and, understanding the situation thoroughly, they 
would not permit me to make any excuses or apologies, but 


insisted on my accepting such hospitalities as they had to 
oifer, and promised to procure me a change of clothing, so 
that I might make a somewhat more presentahle figure. 

They accordingly gave me a room where I could make my 
toilet, and sent a servant to wait on me, while they applied to 
a lady of the neighborhood for some clothing that I might 
wear w^hile my own was being dried and cleansed. The lady 
complied Avith their requests with the greatest alacrity, and 
sent me the best her wardrobe afforded, being 'anxious to 
serve me in any manner in her power. As she was in entire 
sympathy with the cause for which I was laboring, she refused 
to receive any compensation, or to take back the clothing, 
when, at nightfall, I prepared to resume my own, which, by 
diligent brushing and rubbing, had been gotten into tolerably 
good condition again for the purpose of returning to the city. 

A wash, a change of garments, and a substantial breakfast 
refreshed me immensely, and made me feel like another per- 
son. As it was impossible for me to attempt to reach New 
Orleans without running too many risks of discovery, or, at 
least, of being suspected, except under cover of the night, 
and as I was sorely in need of rest, my new-made friends 
insisted that I should remain where I was until the proper 
time came for me to return. 

Return to New Orleans. 

I therefore went to bed, and slept a good part of the day, 
and about eleven o'clock at night they provided me with a 
horse, and escorted me to as near the outposts as I deemed it 
safe for them to go. On our way, I gave them a number of 
points about the situation of things in New Orleans, and in- 
formed them how they might, in various w^ays, be of service 
to the Confederacy, if they were disposed to extend the active 
workers all the aid that was in their power. When the time 
came for bidding them farewell, I thanked them in the wai-m- 
est manner for their kindness to me ; but they assured me that 
the obligations were all on their side, and that they were only 
too glad to assist, in any manner possible, a brave woman, who 
was willing to venture, as I had done, for the purpose of ad- 
vancing the welfare of a cause which was a common one 
with us all. 

After parting with the gentlemen, I made my way into the 
city on foot, being as successful as on the night previous in 


eluding tbo pickets. Having once got within the Federal 
lines again, 1 hastened to the French market, where I ob- 
tained some breakfast, and where I remained until the streets 
began to be filled with people, before venturing to return to 
my room. My idea was to have any one who might happen 
to take particular notice of me think tliat I had been market- 
ing. So, soon as I concluded that it would be safe for me to 
show myself, I passed up St. Peter Street to Rampart Street, 
and from thence to my room. On reaching my apartment I 
locked myself in, and went to bed to take a good rest. 

In the afternoon of the same day I wrote a note to one of 
the officers of the thirty-first Massachusetts regiment, wliose 
acquaintance I liad made shortly after the Federal occupation 
of the city, and he very politely answered it by calling upon 
me. It was my intention to let him know that I had been out 
of the city, so that, in case any one should have been making 
a note of my movements, with a view of reporting thorn at 
headquarters, there would be somebody on hand who would 
be able to give my version of the case, and thus probably 
prevent any investigation, and stifle suspicion. I therefore, 
after a little general conversation, gave my visitor to under- 
stand that I had been out of town ; and on his inquiring my 
whereabouts during my trip, I told him that I had been to 
Carrolton, on a visit to a friend. He believed every word I 
told him, without the slightest hesitation ; and after some fur- 
ther talk about matters of no moment, he went away, leaving 
me tolerably well satisfied with having successfully accom- 
plished my errand, and with having taken all proper precau- 
tion to avoid getting into any trouble about it. 

Before Butler. 

Unluckily for me, however, the very thing upon which I 
had not calculated, and which I had no power to prevent, 
occurred. The officer to whom I had intrusted my despatch 
was captured, and the document was found upon his person. 
Through some means, which I could not surmise, the provost 
marshal was informed that I was the writer of the despatch, 
although the name signed to it was not the one he knoAv me by. 
A negro was found, too, who swore that he had seen me walking 
along the river, outside of the lines, and the result was that 
I was placed under arrest, and taken before Butler himself. 

Butler was not the handsomest man I ever saw in my life, 

260 butler's tribunal. 

and he certainly looked the tyrant that he was. It wag a 
favorite amusement with him to browbeat people who were 
brought before him, and he was remarkably skilful in terrify- 
ing those who were weak enough to submit to being bullied by 
him into making just the admission he wanted them to make. 
I had heard a good deal about his peculiar methods of dealing 
with those who had incurred his displeasure in any way, and 
particularly with those who were suspected of furnishing the 
Confederates with information concerning the situation within 
the Federal lines, and I was therefore prepared, in a measure, 
for the ordeal which I was now compelled to undergo. 

I was determined to admit nothing that could not be dis- 
tinctly proved against me, to sustain to the last the character 
I had assumed, and to fall back upon the protection which I 
felt sure my British papers would afford me as a last resort. 
I promised myself that, so far as any attempt to bully me, or 
to overcome me with threats were concerned, the general 
Avould find me more than a match for him ; and the only trep- 
idation I suffered in going before him grew out of my un- 
certainty with regard to the extent of his information about 
my proceedings. I felt, however, that it would be a safe 
course to admit nothing, and to compel Butler to produce his 
proof, if he had any, before making any acknowledgment 

A Contest op Wits. 

Sure enough, when I Avas brought into his presence, he pro- 
ceeded on the theory that I was the person he wanted, and 
that I was guilty of the charge made against me. He evi- 
dently thought the case was a perfectly plain one, and that I 
would not attempt a denial. I, however, kept cool, and refused 
to look at the matter from his point of view ; and, as none of 
the witnesses who appeared were able to swear positively to 
my identity as the woman who had acted as the bearer of the 
despatch found on the Confederate officer, I began to think that 
I was going to get clear without a great deal of trouble. 

Butler, however, was not one from whom it was easy to get 
away when his suspicions were once aroused, and I saw plainly 
that he was convinced of the fact that he had captured the 
right person this time, and that his prisoner was a spy who 
had been giving him serious annoyance. He was, tlierefore, 
resolved not to let me slip through his fingers if he could help 
it ; and finding that he could not absolutely prove anything 


against me, he concluded to try whether it would not be pos- 
sible to force me into committing myself. 

When, therefore, instead of ordering my release, Butler 
settled his podgy figure back in his chair, and, apparently, 
making a vigorous attempt to look straight at me with both 
eyes at once, — an impossibility, by the way, — said, with a 
harsh, grating voice, and with Avhat was intended to be an 
intensely satirical manner, '' Well, madam, you have shown 
your hand nicely ; 1 have been wanting you for some timo ■ 
past, and I propose to send you to Ship Island," — I felt that 
the real ordeal was but just commencing. 

Without permitting myself to be disconcerted, either by his 
manner or by his threat, I replied, '' I guess not; the law does 
not permit you to sentence any one on mere hearsay or belief, 
and no evidence has been produced against me." 

" Are you not guilty?" said Butler, blinking his eyes, and 
trying to look as savage as possible. 

'* That is for you to prove, if you intend to punish me," I 
replied. " It is very certain you have not succeeded in prov- 
ing it yet." 

" Come, come, madam, I don't want any of this nonsense," 
struck in Butler, sharply. " I kuow you, and your tricks ; and 
as your little game is played out, you might as well confess, 
and be done with it." 

" There is no difficulty about your finding out who I am," I 
retorted. " My name, and residence, and circumstances are 
well known to your officers, and have been ever since the 
capture of the city. You have no proof against me, and I 
have nothing to confess." 

" Do you mean to say," continued the general, " that you 
are not the writer of that letter, or that you did not smuggle 
it througli the lines?" 

" I don't mean to say anything about it," I answered ; " and 
I don't mean to confess what I didn't do." 

By this time Butler, seeing that he was not making much 
headway with me, began to get angry, and he roared out, 
" Well, madam, if you won't confess without compulsion, I'll 
see whether I can't compel you. I'm tired of this sort of 
thing, and I'm going to make an example of you for the 
benefit of the other female spies who are hanging about this 

I replied, as cool as possible, " You may get yourself into 
trouble, sir, if you attempt to punish an innocent woman on a 


false and scandalous charge like this, when there is not a par- 
ticle of evidence to sustain it." 

This appeared to infuriate Butler more than ever; and, 
turning to one of his officers, he gave an order that I should be 
locked up in a cell in the Custom House until my case was 
investigated further. 

When 1 heard this order I turned to him with all the dig- 
nity I could command, and said, " One word, sir ; you will 
please to understand that I am a British subject, 'and that I 
claim the protection of the British flag." 

Butler, who displayed a particular antipathy to foreigners, 
and especially to the English, on all occasions, blurted out, 
" We will see about that ; I don't care for Johnny Bull ; " and 
then turning to the officer he said, " Take that woman to the 
Custom House." 

This ended the investigation, and I left the presence of the 
general, feeling tolerably well satisfied with having got the 
best of him thus far, but dubious about the ultimate issue of 
the affair, for I was confident that he Avould make an endeavor 
to fasten the charge on me in such a manner that there would 
be no escape ; and I knew that if he once got possession of 
the right clew, he could easily obtain plenty of evidence 
against me ; for, notwithstanding all my precautions, there 
were necessarily a number of persons in the city who were, to 
a greater or less degree, informed with regard to my move- 
ments, and some of them, I feared, might tell what they knew 
if they were put under cross-examination, backed up by a 
liberal use of threats. 

I, however, was not disposed to vex myself with troubles 
before they came, and preserved my equanimity, trusting to 
my usual good luck to bring my present difficulties to a satis- 
factory conclusion. The officer in whose charge I was placed 
was a gentleman in every respect, and he treated me in the 
most courteous manner while escorting me to the Custom 
House, apologizing for being compelled to perform so unpleas- 
ant a duty ; and, oh our arrival at the building which was to 
serve as my prison, he procured a nice camp bed for my cell, 
and in other ways tried to make me as comfortable as cir- 
cumstances would permit. He ordered that my meals should 
be sent me regularly, and promised that an effort would be 
made to prevent my incarceration from being any more un- 
pleasant than was absolutely necessary. . 

The behavior of this gentleman was in striking contrast to 


that of his chief, and I felt very grateful to him, as I did, also, 
to several unknown ladies, who sent me a number of little 
luxuries that aided materially in making my imprisonment 
emhirable. Before the oiBcer left me, I asked him if 1 could 
not be permitted to have the use of writing materials. He 
said that he had no authority to grant such a request, but that 
he would see what could be done for me, as it would give him 
pleasure to oblige me by every means in his power. 

A friend of mine, Sergeant B., hearing that I was impris- 
oned, came to see me, and on my expressing a great desire to 
have some pens, ink, and paper, he promised to procure them 
and slip them in to me. He also said that he would carry any 
message I might desire to send to my friends outside. I 
thanked him, and requested him to try and let me have some 
writing materials as soon as possible. He therefore procured 
them, and I innnediately wrote a note to Mr. Coppell, the British 
consul, in which I explained my situation briefly, and asked 
his assistance. 

Mr. Coppell called upon me at once, and I, claiming that I 
was a British subject, and under imprisonment by General 
Butler's personal order, although nothing whatever had been 
proven against me, asked his protection and his influence for 
a release without more delay. He promised to do what he 
could for me, and asked for my proofs of British citizenship. I 
therefore gave him my trunk key and the number of my room, 
with a description of the papers I had purchased in view of 
just such an emergency as this, and he having obtained them 
went to Butler's headquarters to demand my liberation. 

Released from Prison. 

I do not know what passed between the consul and the 
general, but the result of the interview was an order for my 
release, and I accordingly walked out of the Custom House 
under Mr. Coppell's escort, and with all the rebel in me ex- 
ultant at having got the better of Butler. 

I understood plainly that my operations as a spy in New 
Orleans were now at an end, and that the safest and best 
thing I could do, if I did not want to get into further trouble, 
would be to leave the city at the earliest possible moment. 
There was, however, no longer any necessity for keeping my 
rebel sympathies concealed, and I was really glad of an oppor- 
tunity to let them be seen. As we were going out of the 


Custom House I heard some one bragging how they were going 
to thrash Johnny Bull, and I could not resist the temptation 
of turning to Mr. Coppell, who must also have heard the remark, 
and saying, " That fellow must be crazy. He and his friends 
had better wipe out secession first, before they talk about 
whipping Johnny Bull." I said this loud enough for everbody 
to hear me, and it made the speaker and others around us 
furious, and elicited several retorts, at wliich we only laughed. 
Tliis was a foolish proceeding on my part, but I could not help 
taking a bit of womanly revenge on my enemies for what they 
had done to me. 

Having obtained my freedom again, I prepared to forsake 
New Orleans, and applied for a pass. This, however, was re- 
fused me ; and I saw that if I intended to get out of Butler's 
power so as to be able to resume operations either as a spy or 
as a Confederate officer, it would be necessary for me to run 
the blockade. Situated as I was, and under suspicion of being 
a spy, this, I was well aware, would be a particularly risky 
thing to attempt; but there was no alternative left me except 
to either attempt it, or else remain in the city in idleness, and in 
constant danger of having some of my many previous transac- 
tions, in the way of carrying information to the Confederates, 
found out. I felt very certain that if Butler did succeed in 
discovering who I was, and in fastening upon me, beyond a 
doubt, any charge of a similar nature to the one I had just 
eluded, I would not get off so easily as I had done in my first 
controversy with him, and I therefore concluded that I ran a 
greater risk in remaining in New Orleans than I did in at- 
tempting to leave it surreptitiously. 

Having made up my mind to leave, and to leave as expedi- 
tiously as I conveniently could, I proceeded to make the 
necessary arrangements, taking care to attract as little atten- 
tion as possible. The provisioning of New Orleans was a 
serious problem with the military rulers of the city ; and in 
order to keep the markets supplied, even in a moderate de- 
gree, with the necessities of life, they were compelled to 
permit some intercourse with the surrounding country, and 
boats for the conveyance of food even ran between New Or- 
leans and Mobile, under certain stringent regulations, which, 
however, were unable to prevent them from being used by 
the agents of the Confederate States in a manner that Butler 
did not approve. Communication, therefore, between the 
city and country was always possible, although to attempt 


anything of the kind without a pass, subjected the wayfarer to 
a liability of being suspected and punished as a spy. 

I had made a goodly number of trips in dilFerent directions, 
sometimes with passes and sometimes without, and conse- 
quently knew exactly how to proceed, and what were the 
difficulties to be overcome. The chief danger to be appre- 
henilcd I knew would be from the Federal patrols, who were 
becoming more and more vigilant every day, as resolute ef- 
forts were being made to break up the Confederate spy sys- 
tem, and the illicit traffic which many persons of both sexes 
were engaged in carrying on, to the great discomfort of the 
Federal occupants of the city. I had also something to fear 
lest any agent whom I might employ to aid me in making my 
escape should prove treacherous, either through hope of gain 
or a desire to win the favor of Butler. On this last score, 
however, I had comparatively few apprehensions, as I was 
prepared to pay a good round sum to any one who would be 
willing to perform for me the services I needed, and I knew 
well that some of the stanchest adherents of the Confederacy 
were to be found among the poor white population of New 
Orleans and vicinity. I knew that if I could once make the- 
other side of Lake Pontchartrain I would be safe, and that 
there would be fewer risks to run in attempting an escape in 
that direction than in any other. I accordingly laid my plans 
for a trip across the lake, with a view of striking a point near 
the railroad, so that I could reach Jackson with the least in- 

Going down to the lake, I found a fisherman who was pur- 
suing liis avocation under a permit from Butler, and taking 
advantage of an opportunity to speak to him when our conver- 
sation could not be overheard, I asked, " Do any rebels ever 
cross the lake without papers? " 

" Yes," said he, " sometimes." 

" Do you think that you could take me over if I were to 
make it worth your while ? " said I. 

" Are you a reb ? " he questioned, looking at me sharply. 

" They say I am," I answered. 

'• Well, I might take you over if you will pay enough." 

" I'll give you a good deal more than you can get for any 
job you do for the Federals." 

" All right, then," said he ; and without more argument we 
struck a bargain, and arranged time and place of meeting, my 
boatman giving me some directions how to proceed so as to 


avoid attracting attention, from which I inferred that this 
was not the first time he had been engaged in running the 

Going home, I put on two complete suits of clothing, as it 
would not have answered for me to have carried any baggage, 
or even a small package, and secreted about my person all the 
Confederate money I had purchased, about nine thousand dol- 
lars in greenbacks, and my jewelry. At the appointed time I 
was at the rendezvous, and saw my boatman waiting. Fear- 
ful, however, of being apprehended just as I was about to 
start, I did not show myself at first, but crept cautiously 
through the bushes until I could see whether any one was 
observing my movements. Finding the coast apparently 
clear, I made a signal to the man, and he approached and took 
me into the boat. 

Getting away from New Orleans. 

In a moment more the sail was hoisted, and we were speed- 
ing over the lake before a good breeze, which promised, ere a 
great while, to waft me beyond Butler's jurisdiction, and 
enable me once more to give the Confederacy the benefit of 
my services. 

I had a reasonable amount of confidence in the fidelity of 
the boatman, but at the same time was determined to be pre- 
pared against any attempt at treachery on his part. I had, 
accordingly, provided myself with a six-shooter, and had taken 
pains to see that it was loaded, and all in condition for instant 
use, before leaving my room. On taking my seat in the boat 
I placed my hand on this weapon, and was resolved to put it 
to the head of the man if he showed the slightest indication of 
a desire to betray me. I had no fancy for a sojourn on Ship 
Island, and would, without the slightest hesitation, have used 
my revolver freely before submitting to a capture. The man, 
however, was faithful enough, and with the prospect of a 
liberal reward before him, he was only eager to reach the other 
side of the lake as soon as he could, and to avoid the Federal 
patrols in doing so. 

Fortune favored us, and it was not long before we were 
out of the reach of immediate danger, and. in a fair way to 
make the Mississippi shore without being interfered with. On 
landing I paid the boatman his money, according to the bar- 
gain I had made with him, and started off for the nearest rail- 


road station for the purpose of going to Jackson. Thus ended 
my career in New Orleans as a Confederate spy. It was a 
successful one, taking all things into consideration, but I was 
not sorry to get away, and considered myself fortunate in 
being able to make my escape with as much ease as I did. 



Uncertainties of the Military Situation. — I go to Jackson, Mississippi. — 
Burning of the Bowman House in that place by Breckenridge's Sol- 
diers. — The unpleasant Position in which Non-combatants were placed. 

— A Visit to the Camp of General Dan. Adams, and Interview with 
that Officer. — I visit Hazlehurst, and carry a Message to General 
Gardner at Port Hudson. — Recovery of my Negro Boy Bob. — General 
Van Dorn's Raid on Holly Springs. — I resolve to Return to Virginia. 

— The Results of two Years of Warfare. — Dark Days for the Con- 
federacy. — Fighting against Hope. 

' N leaving New Orleans I had no very definite 
plans for the immediate future, my hurried 
departure, as well as my lack of knowledge 
with regard to the exact details of the military 
situation, having prevented me from forming 
was, therefore, rather at a less exactly how to 
proceed, but did not doubt of my ability to find a field 
for the display of my talents ere a great while. I was 
now more intent than ever upon being employed on 
detective and scouting duty, for which my recent resi- 
dence in New Orleans had been an excellent school- 
ing; so excellent, indeed, that I considered myself as well out 
of my apprenticeship, and as quite competent to assume all 
the responsibilities of the most difiicult or dangerous jobs that 
might be thrust upon me. 

I did not doubt that there would be plenty of work for me 
to do, for throughout the entire West military matters seemed 
to be in a very mixed condition, and the different armies, both 
Confederate and Federal, so broken up and scattered, that it 
must have taxed the energies of the commanding ofiicers on 
both sides to have kept the run of each other's movements. 
The Federals, by their victories at Fort Donelson and Shiloh, 
and several other points, had succeeded in forcing both the 
first and second Confederate lines of defence, and in penetrat- 
ing to the heart of the portion of the Confederacy west of 



the mountains, but they had not been able to complete the 
conquest they were aiming at ; and the possession of the 
Mississippi — that coveted prize for both parties — was some- 
thing for which there was still to be done some hard fighting. 

I judged that matters ought soon to be approaching a crisis 
somewhere, although exactly what definite aims the belligerents 
were driving at, if, indeed, they had any just then, I could 
not comprehend. I resolved, if a grand movement of any 
kind was coming off, that I must have a hand in it in some 
shape ; but that if something of importance was not attempted 
before a great while I would return to Virginia, and see what 
fortune had in store for me there. I judged, however, that 
I would not have much diiSculty in finding work to do in the 
west, if I went about looking for it in the right way ; and I 
knew of no better locality in which to seek the information I 
needed before commencing operations in the field again than 

To Jackson, therefore, I went, with what haste I could, and 
arrived just in time to witness an occurrence for which I was 
sincerely sorry. This was the burning of the Bowman House 
by Breckenridge's men, who were infuriated at being told that 
the proprietor had permitted the Federals to occupy the hotel, 
and that he had entert^ained them at one third less than he, 
had charged the Confederates who had claimed his hospitali- 
ties. The unfortunate man was in reality not to blame in the 
matter, for the Federals had occupied his house without his 
consent, and he had taken just what they chose to give 
him, thinking it better to pocket less than his dues than noth- 
ing ; and fearing to make any complaint, either about their 
presence in the hotel, or the money they offered him, lest 
they should take it into their heads to play him some such 
trick as the Confederates subsequently did. 

The Sufferings op Non-combatants. 

This -incident will serve to show the desperately unpleasant 
position of the non-combatants throughout this whole region 
at this and later periods of the war. They were literally 
between two fires; and no matter how peaceably disposed they 
might be, they could satisfy neither party, and were made to 
suffer by both. The proprietor of the Bowman House was 
forced to witness a fine property destroyed before his eyes 
through the reckless and unthinking anger of men who never 


stopped to inquire whether he was guilty or not of any 
offence against them or their cause before taking vengeance 
upon him. He was reduced to poverty by the burning of his 
hotel, and I could not help feeling the keenest regret for the 
occurrence, although I recognized it as one of the inevitable 
calamities of warfare. 

I was, myself, in the hotel when it was fired, and barely 
succeeded in escajDing from the building with my life. Not 
expecting any such occurrence, I had taken rooms, and was 
proceeding to make myself comfortable, when, all of a sudden, 
I found that it was in flames, and that it would be as much as 
I could do to get out unscathed. The men who fired the 
building did not give the proprietor an opportunity to make 
explanations, or if they did, they refused to believe him. 
Knowing what the passions of men engaged in warfare are, 
and how little consideration they are disposed to give those 
who are suspected of aiding the enemy, I was not altogether 
surprised at this action, but I thought the officers in command 
might have succeeded in restraining their soldiers until the 
exact truth of the matter could have been ascertained. 

The next day after this occurrence I visited the camp of 
General Dan. Adams, from whom I gained a number of points 
which were useful to me in making my arrangements for the 
future. He gave me a tolerably definite idea of how things 
stood, and advised me what course to take if I wanted to go 
into active service again. Among other things, he said it was 
understood that the Federal General Grierson was on a 
raid in the direction of Natchez, but he thought he would 
most likely have a speedy stop put to that kind of perform- 
ance. As for himself, he told me that he had been ordered to 
re-enforce General Joe Johnston at Big Black, and that he 
expected to start for that point shortly. Exactly what was 
on foot he did not know, but thought it likely that the Federals 
were about to make an attempt on Vicksburg, and that John- 
ston intended to be well prepared to receive them in his best 

Several times already had the Federals made attacks of 
greater or less importance on Vicksburg, which city was now 
the most important position held by the Confederacy, and 
commanding the Mississippi River as it did, its possession was 
considered a matter of the most vital importance. The fall 
of Vicksburg, everybody knew, would practically give the 
Federals possession of the river throughout its entire length ; 


and as such a calamity would, just at this particular junction, 
be an even greater blow to the Confederate cause than the 
fall of New Orleans had been, every exertion was being made 
to render it impregnable. That sooner or later the Federals 
would make a more determined effort than they had done 
previously to take this post, appeared to be certain ; but the 
natural advantages of tlie position were such, and the fortifi- 
cations in course of construction were so strong, and were 
being rendered stronger with each succeeding day, that the 
utmost confidence in tlie ability of the garrison to hold it was 
felt by every one. 

This confidence, unfortunately, was as ill-founded as had 
been that felt with regard to other posts ; and although the 
siege of Vieksburg was a heavy task for the Federals to 
undertake, they did undertake it, and they succeeded in their 
efforts after a protracted and desperate conflict, in which the 
Confederates, although ultimately compelled to surrender, won 
fresh laurels for their pertinacity in fighting, until all hope of 
prolonging the contest was gone. 

Having heard all that General Adams had to say, I took the 
train for Hazlehurst, and from there I went to a portion of 
Logan's command and took a look at things, stopping all 
niglit with the family of Mayor Wallis. It was here that 
Lieutenant Colonel Blackburn, of General Grierson's com- 
mand, was killed subsequently, when that Federal officer made 
his great raid in April, 1863. 

From Hazlehurst I pushed on towards Port Hudson with a 
message for General Gardner, but was met at Clinton by the 
special courier of that commander, and delivering the message 
to him, I hastened back to Jackson. 

On my arrival at Jackson I heard of my negro boy Bob, 
for the first time since I had lost him, just after the battle of 
Shiloh. I therefore proceeded to Grenada, where I found the 
darkey, who appeared to be heartily glad to see me again 
after such a long separation. Bob, it seems, had gone plump 
into a Federal camp, having missed his road, after I had 
started him off for Corinth ; but not liking the company he 
found there, had slipped away at the earliest opportunity, and 
had wandered about in a rather aimless manner for some time, 
seeking for me. Not being able to hear anything of me, he 
had made up his mind that I was dead, and was quite surprised 
to see me turn up again alive and well. 


At Jackson I found General Lowering in command, and 
heard that General Van Dorn had surprised the Federals at 
Holly Springs, and had captured the entire force there, and 
an immense quantity of supplies of every description. This 
event took place on the 20th of April, 1863, and was one of 
the most brilliant affairs of the whole campaign. The Federals 
had made Holly Springs a base of supplies, and had collected 
there everything that was needed for the maintenance of the 
army in the operations against Vicksburg ; but Van Dorn, by 
one bold and skilfully executed movement, succeeded in giving 
the impoverished Confederates provisions and munitions of 
war which they sorely needed, and in damaging the Federals 
more than a hard-fought battle would have done. 

Facing Eastward again. 

From Grenada, I returned once more to Jackson, and found 
the place in considerable excitement over the prospective 
army movements ; but as there did not seem to be much for 
me to do in the particular line of business I desired to take 
up, I now determined to put my old intention of returning to 
Virginia into execution ; and as having once made up my mind 
to a certain line of action, I was not in the habit of long 
delaying over it, I was soon speeding eastward again on my 
way to Richmond. 

I should have mentioned, that after leaving New Orleans, I 
resumed male attire at the earliest possible moment, and 
figured once more as Lieutenant Harry T. Buford. Perhaps 
if I had gone to General Johnston, or some other commanding 
officer of high rank, and frankly stated that I was a woman, 
giving at the same time a narrative of my exploits, and fur- 
nishing references as guarantees of the truthfulness of my 
story, I would have obtained the kind of emplojanent I was 
looking for, with permission to use the garments of either sex, 
as I might deem expedient for the particular errand I had in 
hand. I sometimes thought that this was what I should have 
done ; but I could not overcome my repugnance to making 
any one a confidant of my secret, even if by so doing I 
would have advanced my own interests. In the then condi- 
tion of affairs, when the different commands were fully organ- 
ized and disciplined, my position as an independent was even 
more anomalous than it was at the commencement of the war, 


and as in the conduct of the peculiar operations then in 
progress, the generals were necessarily obliged to be particu- 
lar in whom they confided, it was scarcely to be wondered at 
that one who, like myself, was endeavoring to play the part 
of a free-lance, should receive comparatively little counte- 

I appreciated the situation, and yet I could not help being 
disappointed, that one who had done so well by the Con- 
federacy as myself, and who was so wiUing to undertake diffi- 
cult and hazardous tasks, should get such little encouragement, 
and so I resolved to abandon the west, for the present at 
least. In Virginia, I thought that I would be likely to have a 
better chance for distinguishing myself, if only for the reason 
that the operations of the contending forces were confined 
to a more limited space than they were in the region I was 
leaving. I had an idea, too, that in case my claims to con- 
sideration at the hands of the authorities were not admitted 
with the promptness I desired, I would be able to do some 
business in the way of running through the lines on my own 
account, just for my own satisfaction, and for the sake of 
showing what I was capable of. 

Once past the Confederate pickets, I believed that I could 
easily reach Washington ; and I felt certain that a skilful spy, 
such as I esteemed myself now to be, could, without great 
difficulty, find out plenty of things which the Richmond 
authorities would be glad to know, and for the furnishing of 
which they would be glad to extend me such recognition as 
I desired. The military situation in Virginia, too, was more 
satisfactory than it was in the west, and I had a hankering to 
be where the Confederates were occasionally winning some 
victories. Since I had been in the west, I had witnessed 
little else than disaster, and I greatly desired to take a hand 
in a figlit when the victory would rest with the Confederates, 
if only for the sake of variety. 

My experiences since leaving New Orleans had not been 
particularly fruitful, for although I performed several services 
in satisfactory style for officers to whose, notice I brought 
myself, no opportunity had offered for me to do anything of 
special moment, or to show the full extent of my capabilities, 
and, as there did not seem, from the condition things were in, 
that anything was to be gained by remaining, I was not sorry 
to leave for the scene of my first exploits as a Confederate 



The war had now been in progress nearly two years, and, 
although the South had not been conquered, affairs were 
beginning to look decidedly blue for us. All our fine expecta- 
tions of an easy achievement of our independence had long 
since vanished, and the situation every day was getting more 
and more desperate. The country was becoming exhausted, 
and had not its natural resources been enormous, our people 
must, ere this, have given up the contest. As it was, with a 
large portion of the male population in the field, and with 
heavy drafts being constantly made upon it to fill the ranks of 
the armies, the cultivation of the ground was neglected, and 
the necessities of life every day became scarcer and dearer. 
We were shut out, too, owing to the stringency of the Federal 
blockade, from anything like regular intercourse with Europe, 
and all kinds of manufactured articles, and the food we had 
been accustomed to import, were held at such enormous 
figures, that they were utterly beyond the reach of any but 
the most wealthy. The suffering among the poorer classes in 
all parts of the South was very great, and in those portions 
which had been devastated by the tramp of the different 
armies, many of the people were very nearly on the verge 
of starvation. 

A Serious Question. 

It was fast becoming a serious question, how long the con- 
test could be prolonged, unless some signal advantage could 
speedily be achieved in the field by the Confederate forces. 
It is impossible to express in words how eagerly all classes 
looked for the achievement of some such advantage, and how 
bitter was the disappointment, as month after month wore 
away, and in spite of occasional victories, the people saw, 
day by day, the Federals drawing their lines closer and 
closer, and slowly, but surely, closing in upon them. 

We were now entering upon the desperate stage of the 
war, when the contest was conducted almost against hope, 
and had the South been inhabited by a less determined race, 
or one less animated by a fixed resolve to fight to the very 
last, and until it was impossible to fight any longer, the 
Federal forces would have succeeded long ere they did in 
compelling a surrender of the Confederate armies. The men 
who commanded the armies, however, were not the sort to 
give up until they were absolutely defeated, and it was starva- 
tion, rather than the Federal arms, that at length forced the 


contest to the conclusion it reached, by the surrender of the 
armies under the command of Lee and Johnston. 

Bad as was the situation at the time of which I am writing, 
and worse as it was shortly made by the surrender of Vicks- 
burg, and other disasters in the west, and by the lamentable 
conclusion of Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania, the Confeder- 
ates fought on for two years longer, with a heroic contempt 
for defeat, that won for them the admiration of the world. 
History does not record any such magnificent resistance as 
the South made ; and however opinions may differ with regard 
to the original merit of the quarrel, not even the bitterest 
enemies of the Confederate cause can refuse to admit that it 
was defended with splendid courage. 

But it is no part of my purpose to produce a history of the 
war. The story of the great contest has been written by abler 
pens than mine. I only aim at giving in plain language an 
unadorned narrative of the personal experiences of a single 
adherent of the Confederacy — experiences which gain their 
chief interest from the fact that they were different in a 
marked degree from those of any other participant in the war 
on either side, and I can only hope that the story of my 
adventures has proved sufficiently attractive to the reader to 
induce a perusal of it to the end. 



Commencement of a new Campaign. — Return to Richmond, and Arrest 
on Suspicion of being a Woman. — Imprisonment in Castle Thunder. 
— Kindness to me of Major G. \V. Alexander and his Wife. — I refuse 
to resume the Garments of my Sex. — I am released, and placed on 
Duty in the Secret Service Corps. — General Winder, the Chief of the 
Secret Service Bureau. — A remarkable Character. — General Winder 
sends me with blank Despatches to General Van Dorn to try me. — A 
Member of the North Carolina Home Guards attempts to arrest me at 
Charlotte. — I resist the Arrest, and am permitted to proceed. — The 
Despatches delivered to Van Dorn in Safety. — My Arrest in Lynch- 
burg. — The Rumors that were in Circulation about me. — I am pes- 
tered with curious Visitors. — A couple of Ladies deceived by a simple 
trick. — A comical Interview with an old Lady. — She declares herself 
insulted. — An insulting Letter from a general Officer. — My indignant 
Reply, and offer to fight him. — I obtain my Release, and leave 

WAS now about to commence a new campaign, 
and to enter upon experiences of another kind 
from those through which I had just passed. 
The condition of affairs was materially different 
in an infinite number of ways from what it had 
been when I first sought the Confederate capital 
with rather vague dreams of glory floating through 
my brain, but with considerable confidence that the 
Federal forces, against whom the brave boys of the 
South were marching, would melt away before them, 
and that I and my comrades in arms would, ere many 
days, have the flag of the Confederacy floating from the dome 
of the Capitol at Washington, and, perhaps, indulge in a march 
through a portion of the North, just for the sake of convincing 
the Yankees that they had been rash in meddling with us. 

Well, we met the forces sent out against us by the Federal 
government, and long before the close of the day they were 
running back as fast as their legs would take them to their in- 
trenchments before Washington. The flag-raising on the Capi- 



tol, and the march through the North, were deferred by those 
who were mauaging affairs on our side to a more convenient 
opportunity, and the grand chance for winning the great 
stakes for which we were fighting was lost, never to be re- 
gained. Just as at Sliiloh, the hesitation to follow up a bril- 
liant victory, and make it complete by the capture or annihi- 
lation of the enemy, lost us the field, and inflicted upon us a 
most humiliating defeat, so at Bull Run, a similar hesitating 
policy lost us not merely the substantial results of victory, but 
inflicted upon us four years' of slaughter, during which the 
Federals closed in upon us gradually, until at length they were 
able to crush us. 

I mean no disparagement to the brave soldiers and the skil- 
ful commanders on the Federal side, when I express the opin- 
ion that, as a rule, the Confederates were better fighters, and 
were better officered, than their opponents. There was in- 
efficiency somewhere, however, in the management of military 
affairs on our side. We never seemed to be able to follow up 
our successes, or to gain permanent results from our victories, 
no matter how brilliant they might be. The Federals, on the 
other hand, had a w^ay of staying, when they once got to a 
place, that was most disheartening ; and one after another the 
strongest and most important of the Confederate posts fell into 
their hands, never to be regained, until finally they won the 
grand prize for which, during four long, weary years, vast 
armies had contended in vain, and, by the capture of Rich- 
mond, virtually ended the contest. 

At the time of which I am writing, however, the capture of 
Richmond, although constantly threatened, was a long way 
off yet, and some trying days were to come before the aban- 
donment of the capital would give the signal to Southern hearts, 
weary of strife, but hoping against hope, that even Hope it- 
self was dead. 

Richmond, however, was a very different place from what 
it was on my last visit to it, as I soon found to my cost. 
Martial law was in force in its most rigorous aspect, and Gen- 
eral Winder, the chief of the secret service bureau, and his 
emissaries, were objects of terror to everybody, rich and poor. 
Beleaguered as Richmond was, every person was more or less 
an object of suspicion, and strangers, especially, were watched 
with a vigilance that left them few opportunities to do mis- 
chief, or were put under arrest, and placed in close confine- 
ment, without scruple, if Winder or his officers took it into 


their heads that this would be the most expeditious way of 
disposing of them. 

Under Arrest in Richmond. 

It is not surprising, therefore, that almost immediately upon 
my arrival in Richmond I fell under the surveillance of Winder 
as a suspicious character, and was called upon to give an 
account of myself My story was not accepted in the same 
spirit of credibility that some rather tough yarns I had manu- 
factured in the course of my career, for the purpose of satis- 
fying the curiosity of inquisitive people, had been. The fact 
that my secret had already been several times discovered, 
was against me to begin with ; then my disguise was not in 
as good order as it had been when I first assumed it ; and my 
papers were not of such a definite character as to inspire re- 
spect in the minds of the Richmond police authorities. There 
was, evidently, something suspicious and mysterious about 
me ; and, suspicion having once been excited, some lynx-eyed 
detective was not long in noting certain feminine ways I 
had, and which even my long practice in figuring as a man 
had not enabled me to get rid of; and the result was, that I 
was arrested on the charge of being a woman in disguise, and 
supposably a Federal spy, and was conducted to Castle Thun- 
der, to reflect upon the mutabilities of fortune, until I could 
give a satisfactory account of myself. 

I thought that this was rather hard lines ; but as good luck 
often comes to us in the guise of present tribulation, as matters 
turned out it was the very best thing that could have hap- 
pened to me, for it compelled me to reveal myself and my 
plans to persons who were willing and able to aid me, and to 
tell my story to friendly and sympathetic ears. 

The commander of Castle Thunder was Major G. W. Alex- 
ander, a gentleman who, ever since I made his acquaintance 
through being committed to his custody as a prisoner, I have 
always been proud to number among my best and most highly- 
esteemed friends. Major Alexander, and his lovely wife, both 
showed the greatest interest in me, and they treated me with 
such kindness and consideration that I was induced to tell 
them exactly who I was, what my purposes were in assuming 
the male garb, what adventures I had passed through, and 
what my aspirations were for the future. They not only be- 
lieved my story, but thinking that my services to the Confed- 


eracy merited better treatment than I was then receiving at 
the hands of the authorities, interested themselves greatly in 
my behalf. 

Both the major and his wife — but the lady, especially — 
seemed to be shocked, however, at the idea of a woman dress- 
ing herself in the garb of the other sex, and attempting to 
play the part of a soldier ; and they eagerly urged me to 
resume tlie proper costume of my sex again, assuring me that 
there would be plenty of work for me to do, if I were disposed 
still to devote myself to the service of the Confederacy. The 
major, however, was evidently impressed with the narrative I 
had given him of my exploits, and was convinced that if reg- 
ularly enlisted in the secret service corps I would be able to 
render assistance of the first value. He, however, was urgent 
that I should abandon my disguise, and represented, in forcible 
terms, the dangers I ran in persisting in wearing it. 

To these remonstrances I turned a deaf ear. I had passed 
through too many real trials to be frightened by imaginary 
ones, and I did not like to change my costume under compul- 
sion. I accordingly refused positively to put on the garments 
of a woman, except as a means of gaining my liberty, and with 
the full intention of resuming male attire at the earliest oppor- 

Major Alexander, therefore, finding me fixed in my deter- 
mination to have my own way, undertook to have matters 
arranged to my satisfaction without putting me to the neces- 
sity of discarding my disguise, in representing my case to 
General Winder, and inducing him to give me a trial in his 

In the Secret Service. 

General Winder ordered my release, and, assigning me to a 
position in the secret service corps, he proceeded to play a 
very characteristic trick upon me, for the purpose of testing 
my fidelity and my abilities. The trick was neatly played ; 
but I got the best of the general to such an extent that he 
was tolerably well convinced that I was both trustworthy, and 
that I was quite wide awake enough to take good care of my- 
self even against such a sharp practitioner as himself. 

General Winder was one of the most remarkable men I 
became acquainted with during my whole career as an officer 
and a spy in the Confederate service. He was a venerable, 
pleasant-looking old gentleman, with white hair, and a rather 


agreeable expression of countenance that was well calculated 
to deceive superficial observers with regard to his real char- 
acter. He had a most confiding, plausible way about him, and 
an air of general benevolence, that completely masked the 
hardness of his heart, and imposed so on liis victims, that, 
until they found themselves fairly caught in his cunningly-laid 
traps, they were unwilling to believe him to be the desperate 
old sinner he really was. Calculated as General Winder was 
to leave a favorable impression at first glance, he would not 
bear inspection. No man of strongly-marked character can 
long conceal his real self from those who are accustomed to 
study human nature ; and a very slight acquaintance with 
Winder sufficed to convince me that he was a dangerous man 
to trifle with, and that cruelty and rapacity were among his 
predominant traits. His eyes were hard, cold, and piercing, 
and there was a wicked twist about his mouth that was far 
from being reassuring. I do not believe that man had such a 
thing as a conscience ; that he Avas utterly unscrupulous with 
regard to the means he took for the accomplishment of his 
ends, I know. He was a most valuable officer, however, and 
I doubt whether another individual in the whole Confederacy 
could have been found who would have commanded the secret 
service corps with the signal ability he did. 

Geneeal Windee plays a Teick on Me. 

Such was the new commander under whom I was now to go 
on duty, and who, when he consented to release me from 
prison, and give me employment, prepared as pretty a trap 
as was ever devised for catching an innocent. The trap was 
sprung in first-rate style, but the intended victim was agile 
enough to slip through the wires, and the result was that Gen- 
eral Winder had nothing but his trouble for his pains. I 
believe it would have delighted him to have caught me, much 
more than it did to have it proved, by his ingeniously- arranged 
device, that I was all that I pretended to be, and that the 
probabilities were all in favor of my being able to become a 
most efficient ally. 

I was a little taken in by Winder's plausible manner at first, 
and I really did not have a fair chance of studying his char- 
acter before I was compelled to submit myself to the test 
which he prepared for me. From what I saw and heard 
of him, however, I easily arrived at the conclusion that he was 


a hard customer to deal with, and that I would have to be 
unusually wary if I wanted to avoid getting into trouble with 
him. 1 had, however, unlimited confidence in my own abili- 
ties, and accepted the commission he gave me as a secret 
service agent with a determination to carry out my instruc- 
tions to the letter at all hazards. 

Furnishing me with transportation. General "Winder started 
me off' with despatches for General Earl Van Dorn. The de- 
spatches Avere simply a lot of blank papers, and a letter explain- 
ing the little game Winder was playing with me. 

A North Carolina Militia-man tries to arrest Me. 

Unsuspicious of any evil intentions on the part of the white- 
headed, benevolent-looking old gentleman, I hastened to exe- 
cute my orders, but suddenly found myself brought up at 
Charlotte, N. C, with a round turn, as the sailors say. Winder 
had telegraphed to the provost marshal at Charlotte to iiave 
me arrested ; and accordingly, when the train stopped at that 
place, a gawky member of the North Carolina home-guard put 
in an appearance, took me into custody, and demanded the 
papers I had in my pocket. It now flashed upon me- that 
Winder had put up a job on me, and 1 resolved tliat he should 
not have the satisfaction of succeeding, if I could help it. 

I accordingly measured my captor with my eye, and saw at 
a glance that he was not the brightest-witted specimen ever 
created, and concluded that if I only put on enough dignity I 
would have no serious difficulty in getting the best of him. 
It was evidently somewhat of a novelty for the tar-heeled 
home-guarder to arrest an officer ; and while he felt the impor- 
tance of the occasion immensely, he was in some degree of 
trepidation, especially when he saw that I was not disposed to 
acknowledge his authority. 

I refused to give up the papers, and demanded, in the 
severest manner I could command, what right he had to un- 
dertake to make the arrest of an officer of the Confederate 
army travelling under orders. He showed me his orders, 
wliicli I was forced to acknowledge were correct, but still 
declined either to give up the papers or to submit to an arrest. 

I, however, promptly offered to return to Richmond with 
them, and report at headquarters to General Winder. 

This completely nonplussed him, and he was in a terrible 
quandary. His orders to arrest me were positive, and he waa 


confident that there was something wrong about me. My 
prompt offer to return and see Winder, however, convinced 
him that there must be some mistake, and he was in an agony 
to know what course he had better pursue. 

I pitied the poor fellow's perplexity, but could scarcely help 
from laughing in his face at his desperate stupidity. He 
blinked his eyes at a terrible rate, and great drops of sweat 
oozed from his forehead, which he wiped off with the sleeve 
of his jacket, as he tried to argue the matter with me. I, 
however, would not give in in the least, and seeing that he did 
not have the slightest comprehension of the duties of his office, 
and was puzzled to know what to do, I suggested that a tele- 
graphic despatch should be sent back to headquarters, asking 
for further instructions. This settled the case effectually ; and 
with a little further parley I was released, and was soon on my 
way again. I don't know whether Winder ever took any 
notice of this most admirable exhibition of inefficiency on the 
part of the gallant defender of the homes of Charlotte, but I 
thought that if I were in his place, I would take some pains to 
discipline this particular tar-heel into some adequate apprecia- 
tion of the necessity for obeying orders, no matter who was 
hurt. The adventure afforded me considerable amusement, 
when I was well through with it, and I could not but laugh 
whenever the comical expression of the puzzled North Caro- 
linian presented itself to my mind's eye. 

Without more interruption or delay I proceeded on my jour- 
ney, and finally reached General Van Dorn, to whom I deliv- 
ered my package of supposed despatches. He read Winder's 
letter, and looked through the lot of blanks which had accom- 
panied them ; then, glancing at me, he burst into a laugh, which 
indicated that he saw something funny in the proceeding, and 
after a few questions, he ordered me to return. This might 
be good fun for Van Dorn and Winder ; but I did not particu- 
larly admire having been sent all this distance on such a fool's 
errand, and was very much disposed to resent it. A little 
reflection, however, told me that it was none of my business 
what the pretended despatches were, and that as I had accom- 
plished my errand according to order, and without falling into 
the snare that General Winder himself had evidently set for 
me, I had every reason to be satisfied, and would probably 
find, on getting back to Richmond, that he was satisfied also. 

I was anxious to reach Richmond at as early a day as possi- 
ble, for I heard a number of rumors which induced me to 


believe that another great battle was shortly to be fought, and 
I was immediately seized with a furious desire to be on liand 
for the purpose of taking part in it. Despite the terrible 
scenes through which I had passed, despite the severe wound 
I had received, and from which my arm was still stiff, the 
prospect of joining in another fight had an irresistible fasci- 
nation for me. I found, however, on reaching Richmond, that 
there was no present chance for a battle, and consequently 
settled myself down as contentedly as possible to do whatever 
work might be assigned me in the secret service department. 
It seemed to be an impossibility for me now to avoid getting 
into continual trouble about my disguise. Not only were a 
number of people fully informed of all the particulars of my 
career since the outbreak of the war, but it began to be whis- 
pered about among the soldiers and citizens that a woman 
dressed as a man had been discovered, and some highly-exag- 
gerated rumors with regard to my exploits were diligently 
circulated. My having received a wound, shortly after the 
battle of Shiloh, appeared to be a particularly attractive epi- 
sode to the minds of many people ; and my performances at 
that battle were believed, in some quarters, to have been of a 
most extraordinary nature. Indeed, I do not know but that 
some people thought me the commander-in-chief of the Con- 
federate forces on the occasion, while I was credited with 
exploits of unparalleled heroism. 

Inconveniences op Celebrity. 

This sort of rather indefinite celebrity might have amused 
me, and pleased my vanity, were it not the source of much 
annoyance. Not only did the report that this woman-soldier 
had come to Virginia have a tendency to attract attention to 
me, and to excite suspicions that might never have occurred 
to an}^ one, but the extraordinary vigilance that was exercised 
on all sides to prevent spies from pursuing their occupations 
in safety, and to prevent deserters from escaping, was sure to 
occasion me troubles of various kinds. I felt out of the 
reach of serious danger, it is true, having been assigned to 
duty in the secret service corps by General Winder; but the 
fact of my being in this corps would not prevent my arrest 
and detention at any time if somebody should take a fancy to 
believe that I was not all that ray outward appearances repre- 


I was vexed, therefore, but scarcely surprised, when, shortly 
after my return from my trip to Van Dorn's headquarters, on 
taking a run over to Lynchburg, I was again arrested on the 
charge of being a woman in disguise. My sword was taken 
from me, and I was otherwise treated with a good deal more 
rudeness than I thought there was any occasion for ; and this 
treatment had the efiect of making me obstinate, and indis- 
posed to give my captors any satisfaction with regard to who 
I was, and for a considerable time I stood out strongly for my 
rights as an officer in the Confederate army. I was subjected 
to a brief examination before his honor the mayor, but refused 
to commit myself; and it very soon became apparent that my 
captors were in somewhat of a quandary as to the best course 
to pursue with regard to me. It was finally, however, decided 
to hold me for the present, and I was assigned to tolerably 
comfortable quarters, where I proceeded to make myself as 
much at home as I could. 

The Fun Commences. 

Now the fun commenced. It having become rumored about 
that a woman, disguised as a Confederate officer, had been 
arrested, all the curiositj^-seekers of the town became im- 
mensely excited, especially as the most exaggerated reports 
of m}' heroic deeds on the battle-field and elsewhere were in 
circulation, and everybody — the women in particular — 
evinced the most eager desire to see the heroine of innu- 
merable bloody conflicts. 

I began to be pestered with visitors, who plied me with all 
sorts of questions, some of them most insulting ones, but which 
I was compelled to refrain from getting angry at for fear of 
betraying myself My position was a most unpleasant one, and 
it required very skilful management for me to play the part of 
a man to advantage. What gave piquancy to the situation 
was, that, while it was generally believed I was a woman, and 
the particular woman whose exploits had reached their ears, 
my visitors were none of them quite sure which sex I belonged 
to, and all their efforts were directed to solving the mystery. 

While the attentions I received from the good citizens of 
Lynchburg, and particularly from the women folk of that town, 
were all in a greater or less degree annoying, some of my in- 
terviews with the visitors who persisted in calling upon me 
were decidedly amusing, and caused me much hearty laughter. 


On one occasion I heard feminine voices and footsteps 
approaching, and prepared myself for the ordeal which I 
would be compelled to go through with. During the two 
years and more I had been wearing male attire, 1 had not only 
learned the general carriage of a man, but had picked up a 
good many little masculine traits, which I had practised until I 
was quite perfect in them. I relied greatly upon these to aid 
me in maintaining my incognito, for they were eminently char- 
acteristic, and well calculated to throw a suspicious person off 
guard. So, when I heard these visitors coming, I stuck my 
feet up on the window-sill, and, just as they were opening the 
door, I turned my head, and spit. 

This action attracted the attention of the youngest of the 
two ladies who were entering, immediately ; and I heard her 
say in a whisper to the elder, '' 0, ma, that can't be a woman ! 
See how he spits ! " I saw that my little ruse was a success, 
and laughed inwardly at the impression it made on the 

They were a mother and daughter, and had evidently come 
to remonstrate with me, in good set terms, about the impro- 
priety of my costume. One little peculiarly mannish gesture, 
however, so completely confounded them that they did not 
venture to approach the subject they had in their minds 
except in the most roundabout way. They were very nice 
people, and were disposed to be as kind to me as they possibly 
could ; but I did not think proper to give them any satisfaction 
with regard to what they were most concerned about ; and, 
after a somewhat embarrassed conversation, during which 
they offered to serve me in any way in their power, they took 
their departure as wise as they came. 

Comical Inteeview with an Old Lady. 

Not long after, I had another visitor of a somewhat different 
kind. This was a motherly old lady, Avho seemed to consider 
that her 3'ears and experience gave her a right to speak to me 
in plain words, whether I was a man or a woman. She accord- 
ingly, without any ceremony, began to subject me to a very 
rigid cross-examination ; but I replied to her questions in a 
manner that was anything but to her satisfaction. The result 
was, that both of us at length began to be somewhat vexed, 
and, as I could not understand what right she had to under- 
take such a task as that she was then engaged in, and consid- 


ered her behavior impertinent in the extreme, I resolved to 
say a few words that I thought would settle her. 

Finding that she coukl not obtain any definite answers to 
her questions, slie finally said, " Well, all I've got to say is, 
that if you really are a young man, you deserve credit for 
what you have done to advance the interests of the cause. 
If you are a woman, however, you are disgracing your sex by 
dressing yourself up in men's clothes, and attempting to be a 
soldier. If you wanted to serve your country, you might 
have found some other way of doing it, and you ought to be 
ashamed of yourself." 

This made me a little mad, but I kept cool, and, shrugging 
my shoulders, said, in as deliberate a manner as possible, 
looking the old lady straight in the eyes, " Well, madam, as 
you seem to be in doubt about my sex, and are apparently ex- 
ceedingly anxious to find out whether I am a man or a woman, 
allow me to suggest that the facts of the case can very read- 
ily be established to your satisfaction. Suppose you — " 
But it would be cruelty to the reader to give the rest of my 
reply, so I will leave it unrecorded. 

It had an astonishing effect, however, on my visitor. She 
got red in the face, her eyes flashed, and, muttering something 
that I did not hear, she bounced out of the room, leaving me 
to enjoy a hearty laugh at the comical termination of the adven- 
ture. My irate visitor went down stairs in hot haste, and, in 
a terrible state of excitement, informed the mayor that that 
nasty little fellow had insulted her. The supposed insult I 
explained in such a way that the laugh was fairly turned upon 
the ancient dame. 

If such occurrences as these had been the only annoyances 
to which I was subjected, no particular harm would have been 
done, but, rather, considerable amusement would have been 
ajHbrded me. To my surprise and indignation, however, I 
received one day the following letter from a general officer", 
with whom I was acquainted, and whom I had hitherto regarded 
as something of a gentleman : — 

" Lieutenant Harry T. Buford, C. S. A. 

" Dear Sir : If you will accept a position on my staff as one 
of my aids, I can obtain for you j^our release from the civil 
authorities. You will have a pleasant time. I will furnish 
you with a fine horse, and you can share my quarters and my 


The meaning of this did not require explanation. It stung 
me to the heart, that a man wlio had fought with me on the 
same field of battle should offer me such an indignity, situated 
as I was ; and I was so overcome with rage at the insult that I 
would have killed him, without thought of the consequences to 
myself, could I have reached him. I replied instantly to his 
note, stating that I would meet him at any time and place he 
might designate, and that I would either kill him or he would 
have to kill me, for I was resolved that no man should insult 
me with impunity. I heard no more from him; and when I 
gained my freedom once more, he was gone. At that time the 
writer of this insulting note was single, but now he is married ; 
and it is only for the sake of his noble little wife and his family 
that I refrain from branding his name with infamy. I am 
informed that he always speaks of me with the highest re- 
spect ; but, as I have no respect for him, I care not what his 
opinion of me may be. 

Finally, I obtained my release ; and having had quite enough 
of Lynchburg, and being anxious to escape from the gaze of 
the impertinently curious people, who watched my every 
motion, I took my departure without any delay. 



At Charlotte, North Carolina. — Arrival of Longstreet's Corps, on its Way 
to re-enforce Bragg's Army. — I obtain Permission for myself and other 
Officers to go on the Train southward. — I arrive in Atlanta, Georgia, 
and receive Letters from several Members of my Family. — I learn for 
the first time that my Brother is in the Confederate Army. — I receive 
Information of the Officer to whom I am engaged to be married, and 
whom I have not seen since the Battle of Shiloh. — I make an Attempt 
to reach him, but am unable to do so. — Failing in an Endeavor to be- 
come attached to General Armstrong's Command, I determine to un- 
dertake an Expedition through the Lines. — Finding a Supply of female 
Garments in a deserted Farm-house, I attire Myself as a Woman. — 
My Uniform hid in an Ash-barrel. — An Invasion of the Dairy. — I 
start for the Federal Lines. 

ROM Lynchburg I went to Charlotte, North 
Carolina, where the home- guard oflScer had 
attempted to arrest me while carrying through 
General Winder's blank despatches to Van 
Dorn. I had some curiosity to meet this indi- 
f^Si.^ vidual again, as I thought I would like to make 

M^ his acquaintance. I did not have the pleasure of 
seeing him, however ; but I did see quite a number 
of officers and soldiers who had collected at this 
point, under orders to return to their commands with- 
out delay, and who were waiting for transportation. 
Many of these were old friends and acquaintances of mine, 
and I proceeded to make myself at home among them, and 
also among the good people of Charlotte, taking particular 
pains, according to my usual custom, to be as agreeable as I 
could to tlie ladies ; for, notwithstanding my recent little 
unpleasantness with the Richmond and Lynchburg authorities 
with regard to my right to wear male attire, I still was in- 
spired by some ambition to achieve a reputation as a ladies' 
man. I succeeded as well as I usually did when attempting 
to play this r6le, and managed to enjoy myself immensely, 



although I am not aw<are that I inflicted any irreparable dam- 
age upon tlie hearts of tlie fair ones of Charlotte. 

This was in the summer of 1863. General Lee had invaded 
Pennsylvania, liad been defeated at Gettysburg, and had re- 
turned to Virginia, to resume again the defence of Richmond. 
His army was shattered, but defiant still, and, as events 
proved, was quite competent to do as hard fighting as it 
ever did, and to ward off the always impending Federal 
attack on the Confederate capital for a good while to come. 
But, with the battle of Gettysburg, the important work of the 
smnmer in that quarter had culminated, and the attention of 
the entire Confederacy was now anxiously directed to Eastern 
Tennessee, where the Federal General Rosecrans was pushing 
forward, with the evident intention of striking a damaging 
blow somewhere, and perhaps of forcing his way into Georgia. 
It was in resisting the forces of Rosecrans, therefore, that 
distinction was to be won, and not by remaining in the neigh- 
borhood of Richmond. As I always liked to be where the 
heaviest fighting was going on, I concluded that I ought to set 
my face southward if I hoped to win any laurels. 

Hearing that Longstreet's corps had been detached from 
Lee's army before Richmond, and ordered to re-enforco 
Bragg, I concluded to wait in Charlotte until it made its ap- 
pearance on its way southward, and, if possible, travel Avith 
it to its destination. A good many of the officers waiting in 
Charlotte were anxious to take advantage of this opportunity 
to obtain transportation back to their commands, but it was 
reported that no one would be permitted to go on the train 
except Longstreet's own men. It would have been a very 
serious disappointment and some trouble to many who did not 
know when they would have such another chance to reach 
the scene of action, and there was a good deal of growling at 
the prospect that a prolonged stay in Charlotte might be 
necessary, when their services were so much needed else- 

I, however, had made up my mind to make a determined 
effort to go, at every hazard, despite the orders to the con- 
trary ; and I proposed to some of the officers, who Avere im- 
patient to get off, that we should have an interview with 
General Longstreet, and endeavor to impress upon his mind 
the imperative necessity we were under of rejoining our 
regiments immediately. There was a difference of opinion,. 


however, about the expediency and propriety of this course, 
and no one was willing to take the responsibility of doing the 
necessary talking. As no one else would undertake the task 
of interviewing Longstreet on the subject, I resolved to rep- 
resent the situation to him myself. 

An Interview with Longstreet. 

After the arrival of his corps in Charlotte I watched for a 
good opportunity, and at length espied him engaged in con- 
versation with General Jenkins. I therefore went up, and, 
making a salute, stated to General Longstreet that a number 
of officers who were ordered to join their regiments immedi- 
ately were unable to proceed for lack of transportation, and 
asked if we might not go on with him ; for, if we did not, 
great inconvenience would be caused to ourselves and to the 
army. The general hesitated somewhat, but after asking me 
several questions about who we were, how many there were 
of us, where we were going, &c., he acceded to my request. 
I made known the success of my mission to the rest, and so, 
jumping on board the train, we managed to get through. 

I was determined, however, that in case Longstreet re- 
fused, I would wait until the very last minute, and then jump 
on the engine or tender, believing that, in an emergency like 
tliis, the best plan is to take the law into one's own hands. 
It is true that, had I attempted this, I might have been put oif ; 
but I did not think this very likely, but rather thought that I 
would probably win the favor of the general, by showing him 
that I was bent upon getting to the front at the earliest pos- 
sible moment. At all events, I was willing to have taken 
the chances of getting through in proper style. 

On reaching Atlanta, I had the gratification of receiving a 
number of letters from relatives from whom I had not heard 
for many months. There were two from my father, one from 
my sister in Matanzas, and one from my brother, in the trans- 
Mississippi department. This was the first time in nine 
months I had heard from my brother, and it was the first inti- 
mation I had that he was in the army. It was a great delight 
for me to receive these letters, as, though I had been long 
separated from my relatives, they were often in my thoughts, 
and I remembered them with the tenderest afi'ection. I was, 
as may be supposed, particularly well pleased to learn that 


my brother was in the Confederate service, but I was glad 
that he was so far off that there was not much danger of my 
meeting him; for I felt certain that he would object, in no 
measured terms, to my course in assuming male attire for the 
purpose of doing a share of the fighting, and feared that we 
might quarrel about it. 

Some Good News. 

Shortly after my arrival in Atlanta, however, I heard some- 
thing that delighted me even more than the receipt of these 
letters from my near and dear relatives. This was that Cap- 
tain De Caulp was near Spring Hill with Van Dorn. This 
bit of particularly interesting information I obtained from a 
soldier of the third Arkansas regiment. I had not seen the 
captain since the battle of Shiloh, where I fought by his side, 
or at least under his eye, during nearly the whole of the con- 
flict, succeeding in winning his commendation for my courage, 
without exciting any suspicion in his mind that I was the 
woman upon whom his affections were bestowed. So soon as 
I heard that he was in my vicinity, I was seized with an in- 
tense desire to meet him again ; for I was greatly in love 
with him, and it afforded me the keenest delight to hear 
praises of myself from his lips, and he all the while thinking 
that he was addressing them to a third party. 

I don't suppose, since the commencement of the world, so 
strange a courtship as ours was ever carried on. It is certain 
that not many women have had the same opportunities as 
myself to find out, from their own lips, exactly how fond of 
tiiem their expected husbands really are. The situation, I 
confess, had a wonderful fascination for me, for there were 
intensely romantic elements in it, that addressed themselves, 
in the strongest manner, to my imagination. To have been 
able to fight by the side of my lover in one of the greatest 
battles of the war, and to be praised by him for my valor, 
were of themselves matters for intense satisfaction ; and I 
often imagined how it would be after the war was over, and 
we would be able to compare notes and relate our adventures 
to each other. But, alas ! before the war would be over there 
was much that both of us would be compelled to endure of 
toil and suffering; and the peaceful, happy home that my 
fervid imagination pictured was but a dream, and nothing 


At the time of which I write, however, a desire to see 
Captain De Caulp again was the uppermost thought in my 
mind, and I was almost more than half resolved to give him a 
surprise by revealing myself to him. Whether to do this or 
not was a question that I debated with myself most seriously 
while on my way to join him. The fact that I was a woman 
had now been so often discovered, that it was probable he 
might at any moment learn that his expected wife and Lieu- 
tenant Harry T. Buford were one and the same ;' and, not 
knowing what he might think of the course I had pursued in 
assuming male attire, I dreaded having any one but myself 
discover my secret to him. In addition to this, I loved him 
most fondly ; and, although inspired by a sense of the duties 
I owed to the cause for which I had taken up arms, I endeav- 
ored to control my feelings, and to regard my marriage with 
Captain De Caulp as not to be thought of until the time came 
for both to forsake the battle-field, and to think no more of 
warfare but as something we were done with forever. 

Cupid's Tyeanny. 

I would have been less than human, however, if sometimes 
I did not desire most ardently to be with him, and to hear 
from my lover's lips the terms of endearment which are the 
sweetest music a woman's ears can be greeted by, and to be 
courted by him as other women Avere by the men who had 
won their affections. I knew that, in many respects, it would 
be better for me to remain at a distance from Captain De 
Caulp ; but I was moved by an inscrutable impulse at this 
time to go to him, and I was almost willing, if he should say 
so, to abandon the army, and to permanently resume the gar- 
ments of my sex. I did not propose, however, to do this if it 
could be avoided, and the leading idea in my mind was, in the 
event of my concluding to reveal myself to him, to go through 
the rest of the war with him, and to fight constantly by his 
side, as the Italian heroine. Bona Lombardi, did by the side 
of her husband, Brunaro. The course which I would ulti- 
matel}' pursue, however, I finally determined should be gov- 
erned by circumstances, but that, at all events, I would make 
an effort to see my lover again. 

So soon as I found that Captain De Caulp was near at hand, 
I took the train for the point nearest to where I learned that 
Van Dorn's command was stationed. Getting off at Tyner's 


Station, I obtained a horse, and started off in the direction of 
Ciiickaniauga. At this point I fell in with General Pegram's 
cavalry, and had the great pleasure of seeing the handsome 
General Frank Armstrong, an officer for whom I entertained 
an intense admiration. 

I remember once saying to Major Bacon, who at that time 
had not the slightest idea who I really was, " I wonder how 
any woman could help falling in love with Frank. If I was a 
woman, I would be in love with him." Indeed, I fear that if 
my allections had not already been engaged. General Arm- 
strong would have captured them. General Armstrong was 
a tail, fine looking man, dark complexioned, with regular and 
very handsome features, jet black hair and eyes, and with 
mustache and side whiskers that became him immensely. 
His uniform always fitted him exactly, and was exceedingly 
becoming to him. He was not a gay or dashing sort of man, 
but firm and decisive in his manners and appearance, and he 
always seemed to be what he was, — a true officer and gen- 
tleman. From General Fegram I learned that it would be 
very difficult, and, indeed, almost impossible, for me to reach 
Van Dorn, and 1 therefore concluded to remain where I was, 
and to endeavor to become attached to General Armstrong's 
command. After waiting for some time, however, and finding 
that. there was no chance for me to do this, I turned back as 
far as Ringold. At this place I met some of the officers and 
men of the tenth Tennessee regiment, with Avhom I was ac- 
quainted, and from whom I obtained some ideas with regard 
to the general situation of affairs, which induced me to make 
rather different plans from those which I had been endeavor- 
ing to carry out. 

In a Quandaey. 

In fact, I was in somewhat of a quandary, and scarcely 
knew exactly what to do with myself so as to dispose of my 
time to the best advantage. I saw plainly, as matters were 
then, that it would be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, 
for me to join Van Dorn's command, whereas, if I waited 
patiently for a little while. Captain De Caulp would most 
likely come my way, and I would be able to meet him sooner 
by waiting for him than by going after him. I was too im- 
patient, however, to pass my time in idleness, and felt as if I 
must do something for the cause and my own credit as a 

I Gettysburg, Pa. 5 


It really appeared to be more trouble than it was worth to 
endeavor to persuade any of the general officers to assign me 
to the particular kind of duty I desired ; and, as I had been 
decidedly successful in more than one expedition, planned 
and executed by myself, and on my own responsibility, I re- 
solved to undertake another one, just for the sake of keeping 
myself busy, and of seeing what would come of it. I felt 
very confident that if I could make a big hit, my services as 
a spy would be in heavy demand, for there was 'evidently 
going to be some close fighting, and the movements of the 
enemy would need watching at every point. 

My Washington trip, just after the battle of BalPs Bluff, 
suggested a general method of procedure ; but in a great 
number of ways the present situation was a far more difficult 
and dangerous one, and would require the exercise of all the 
wits I had — wits that had been tolerably well sharpened by 
over two years of severe experience, both as a soldier and as 
a spy. I was even more reckless now than I was then, but 
my recklessness was that of a veteran, who scorns danger 
when there is a necessity for braving it, but who does not 
expose himself any more than there is occasion for, or run 
himself against rifle bullets just for the fun of the thing. 
While well aware of the risks I incurred, however, I had an 
unlimited faith in my own tact and skill, and did not doubt 
my ability to accomplish my proposed adventure in safety, 
and with satisfactory results. 

Planning an Expedition. 

My idea now was to run through the lines, and take a good 
view of the situation from the Federal standpoint, and I 
knew that the safest and best way of doing this — if, indeed, 
not the only one — was to go as a woman ; for, in the proper 
attire of my sex it would be easier for me to pass the pickets, 
and avoid being suspected of having any end in view to 
which objection could be taken. The only difficulty in the 
way of accomplishing my object was in procuring suitable 
clothing without attracting attention. As there were a num- 
ber of houses in the vicinity from which the people had fled, 
some of them in great haste, when they found themselves 
likely to be in the midst of contending armies, it occurred to 
me that in all probability I would be able to find what I 
wanted in some one of them. 


I, therefore, commenced a search, and soon came to a dwell- 
ing that promised to supply me with everything- 1 needed ; 
for, from such views of the interior as I could get, the people 
seemed to have gone off, and loft nearly all their goods behind 
them. I, accordingly, concluded to make an investigation, to 
see if my surmises were correct, and forced my way in 
through one of the back windows. Sure enough, I found an 
abundance of female clothing to select from, and proceeded 
forthwith to appropriate the best outfit the wardrobe of the 
absent mistress of the establishment afforded, never doubting 
but that, as she must be a good Confederate, she Avould liiglily 
approve of my conduct, could she be informed of the use to 
which her dresses and underwear were being put. 


Having completed my toilet, and transformed myself from 
a gallant young Confederate officer into a reasonably good- 
looking woman, I packed a carpet-bag with a change of 
clothing, and other articles, such as I thought might be useful 
on a journey. Before making a start, however, there were 
several matters to be attended to. My uniform was to be 
disposed of, and, as I was a trifle hungry, I thouglit that if 
any provisions were obtainable, a good meal would aid me 
materially in getting along comfortably. 

My uniform I folded up carefully and put into a pillow-case, 
and in looking about for a place to bestow it, where it would 
be least likely to be discovered or disturbed, I concluded that 
an ash-barrel which I found would answer my purpose ex- 
actly. I therefore put the pillow-case, containing the gar- 
ments, into the barrel, and, covering it with ashes, placed it, 
with the mouth turned towards the smoke-house, in a corner 
where it would not be apt to attract attention. 

This arrangement being effected, I next went into the 
dairy in search of food, and found enough to supply the de- 
mands of my hunger, although the bill of fare was, perhaps, 
not all that I would have desired, had I been permitted any 
choice in the matter. I succeeded, however, in making a tol- 
erably hearty meal, by eating some raw ham, and all the pre- 
serves I could find. Having despatched such eatables as I 
was able to lay my hands upon, I picked up my carpet-bag, 
and made directly for the enemy's lines. I knew that the 
bold way was the best way, in the execution of such an en- 


terprise as that upon which I was now starting, and that the 
correct plan was to strike directly for headquarters, with a 
plausible story to tell, rather than to attempt to slip past the 
pickets and run the risk of being detected, and of being com- 
pelled to give an account of myself, under suspicion of being 
upon some objectionable errand. Until actually within the 
Federal lines, however, I would be, so to speak, between two 
fires, and would stand a chance of being used quite as roughly 
by my friends as by the enemy ; and it was importa'nt, there- 
fore, for me to make the distance I had to go as quickly as I 
could, and yet to avoid appearing in too much of a hurr}^, in 
case any one should happen to see me. I judged that I would 
be able to pass the Confederate lines without any very great 
trouble, as I was not able to note any picket posts in the 
vicinity of the house wdiich had so conveniently been left 
standing by its owners, with everything in it that I wanted 
for the particular errand I was on. But I knew that it would 
not do to rely too much on appearances in such a situation as 
this, and that I was liable to have an individual armed with 
musket or sabre put in an appearance at any moment, and 
demand to know who I was, and what I was prowling about 
there for. 

The dangers attending the enterprise, however, gave it a 
certain pleasurable excitement, such as it otherwise w^ould 
not have had, and I enjoyed it, after a fashion, immensely — 
even more than I did the excitement of a battle. In a battle, 
a single combatant, no matter how valorous he may be, is lost 
in the crowd ; and as his individuality is, in a large measure, 
merged in that of his regiment or brigade, so the dependence 
of the issue upon single, personal effort is something that it is 
difficult to appreciate. In attempting such a bit of work, 
however, as 1 now had on hand, my own personality necessa- 
rily asserted itself in the strongest manner. The plan of ac- 
tion was mine ; its execution depended upon myself; mine 
alone was the peril ; and should I succeed in accomplishing 
my first point, in gaining the Federal lines in safety, the pros- 
ecution of my enterprise would be a contest of wits between 
myself and those with whom I was brought in contact, and 
from whom I expected to gain the information I was after. 
For these reasons I found a keener enjoyment in the perform- 
ance of spy duty than I did in doing the work of a soldier ; 
and, although I would not have missed, on any account, the 
experience I underwent during the first two years of the 


war, especially those incident to being a participant in such 
hard-fought battles as Bull Run, Ball's Bluff, Fort Donelson, 
and Shiloli, my career during the latter part of the groat con- 
test, when I Avas, for the most part, acting as a spy within the 
enemy's lines, was in many ways much the most interesting 
to myself Whether the narrative of it will prove the most 
interesting portion of this volume, I, of course, cannot tell. 
I hope, liowever, that the reader, having followed the story 
of my fortunes and misfortunes thus far, will have sufficient 
curiosity to keep with me to the end. 



The Duties of Spies. — The Necessity for their Employment. — The 
Status of Spies, and the extraordinarj^ Perils they run. — Some Remarks 
about the Secret Service, and the Necessity for its Improvement. — I 
reach the Federal Lines, and obtain a Pass to go North from General 
Rosecrans. — On my Travels in search of Information. — Arrival at 
Martinsburg, and am put in the Room of a Federal Officer. — A Dis- 
turbance in the Night. — " Who is that Woman ? " — I make an advan- 
tageous Acquaintance. — A polite Quartermaster. — All about a pre- 
tended dead Brother. — How Secret Service Agents go about their 
Work. — A Visit to my pretended Brother's Grave, and what I gained 
by it. — I succeed in giving one of Mosby's Pickets an important bit 
of Information. — The polite Attention of Federal Officers. — I return 
to Chatanooga, and resume my Confederate Uniibrm. — A perilous At- 
tempt to reach the Confederate Lines. — What a Drink of Whiskey can 
do. — I become Lame in my wounded Foot, and am sent to Atlanta for 
medical Treatment. 

HE position and duties of spies are little under- 
stood by persons who have had no actual expe- 
rience of warfare, and who, consequently, are 
unable to understand the multitude of agencies 
it is requisite for the commanders of armies 
and the heads of governments, which may find it neces- 
sary to make an appeal to arms in order to settle their 
differences, to resort to for the accomplishment of the 
ends they have in view. Just as the quartermaster, 
the commissary, the paymaster, and the surgeon are 
as important as the generals, — if any fighting worthy of the 
name is to be done, and warfare is to be an afiair of sci- 
ence and skill, instead of a mere trial of brute force, — so the 
spy, who will be able to obtain information of the movements 
of the enemy ; who will discover the plans for campaigns and 
battles that are being arranged ; who will intercept despatches ; 
who will carry false intelligence to the enemy, and who, when 
he does become possessed of any fact worth knowing, will 



prove himself prompt and reliable in taking it, or sending it to 
headquarters, is indispensable to the success of any movement. 
The spy, however, occupies a different position from that 
held by any other attache of an army. According to all mil- 
itary law he is an outlaw, and is liable to be hung if detected 
— the death of a soldier even being denied him. Nothing has 
been left undone to render the labors of the spy not only per- 
ilous in the extreme, but infamous ; and yet the spy is nothing 
more nor less than a detective officer, and there cannot be any 
good and sufficient reason assigned for the discredit Avhich 
attaches to his occupation. It is simply one of the prejudices 
which, having no substantial foundation, have been carefully 
fostered by military men for their own purposes, and it is high 
time that it should be given up by sensible people. 

Spies and their Labors. 

During the war a vast deal of the most important kind of 
work was performed by spies on both sides, and these secret em- 
issaries, men and women, labored with a diligence, a zeal, and 
an intelligence in the execution of tasks of enormous peril, that 
was rarely equalled, and never surpassed, by those who had 
the actual work of fighting to do. The fate of more than one 
battle was decided, not so much by the valor of the soldier, as 
by the movements which the generals were able to make 
through information furnished them by spies ; and more than 
one commanding officer has testified, in hearty terms of appro- 
bation, to the efficiency and fidelity of the secret service 
agents who have aided him. 

Tlie spy must, of necessity, perform his work amid the most 
perilous environments. Self-preservation is the first law of 
nature and of armies ; and it is the duty of a general to make 
it an exceedingly dangerous business for the secret emissaries 
of the enemy to penetrate his lines for the purpose of picking 
up useful bits of knowledge. There is no reason, however, 
why, in this civilized age, when, as every one knows, spies are 
freely employed by all commanders, and their services are 
appreciated at the highest value, this class of agents should 
not have their status fixed in a more satisfactory manner than 
it is. The agent of a secret service bureau ought to have the 
same immunity that any other combatant has. We shoot 
guerrillas, or unauthorized combatants, and so, perhaps, we 
might continue to hang unauthorized spies ; but a regular 


attache of a secret service bureau should have some recog- 
nized rights, which even the enemy would be bound to re- 

I admit that there are difficulties in the way of any such 
arrangement as this ; for, from the peculiar manner in which 
a spy carries on his operations, it is often necessary that he 
should be known to be what he is to no one but his confiden- 
tial superior, and in the prosecution of some of the most im- 
portant enterprises it is impossible for him to carry about him, 
in any shape, evidences of who or what he is ; still, something 
might be done to improve the barbarous methods now in 
vogue of dealing with military detectives ; for it is preposter- 
ous to attempt to regard them in the light of outlaws, when 
they are acting as much under the orders of responsible su- 
periors as are the men who shoulder the muskets. 

Having been for a long period a spy myself, and a very 
successful one, and having been engaged in many as hazardous 
and responsible enterprises as usually fall to the lot of a secret 
agent of a belligerent power, I naturally feel a, so to speak, pro- 
fessional interest in this matter. Otherwise, however, it does 
not concern me personally what may be done, or left undone, 
in the way of organizing the detective forces of the armies of 
the future. I am well out of the business, with a conscious- 
ness of having served the cause I advocated with zeal and 
efficiency ; and as 1 did not fear danger while engaged in 
secret service duty, so I feel no compunctions in relating the 
particulars of a number of transactions which, at first sight, 
the reader may think were not to my credit. All I ask is, that 
fair-minded persons, who will do me the honor to peruse this 
portion of my narrative, will remember that the circumstances 
were not ordinary ones. I was mixed up in a good deal of 
most rascally business ; but it was my associates, and not 
myself, who were deserving of condemnation. Their motive 
was gain, and gain at the expense of a governnaent and people 
that trusted them, and to the detriment of a cause which they 
professed to hold sacred. I, on the other hand, was the secret 
agent of the enemy, who considered that pretty much anything 
was fair in war, and that I was justified in inflicting all the 
damage to the enemies of my cause that I was able, whether 
by fighting them with arms in my hands in the open field, or 
by encouraging treason within their own ranks. That I 
associated with traitors, and strove to make men betray the 
cause to which they were bound by every tie of honor and 


duty, did not render them less despicable to me ; and I even 
now shudder to think of the depravities of liuman nature 
which my career as a secret agent of the Confederate govern- 
ment revealed to me. 

"Within the Federal Lines. 

But it will be enough to speak of these things wlien the 
proper time comes ; and my special task just now is to relate 
the prosecution of my adventures after quitting the farm- 
bouse, where I had succeeded in obtaining the clothing I 
needed for the accomplishment of the particular enterprise 
I had on hand. 

Luckily for me no one observed my movements, and I made 
my way to the nearest Federal picket station without inter- 
ruption. I gave my name as Mrs. Williams, told as much as I 
thought the olHcer in charge ought to know about me, and 
asked to see General Rosecrans. I was accordingly ushered 
into the general's presence, and gave him a somewhat more 
detailed account of myself. 

I represented that I was a widow woman, who was endeav- 
oring to escape from the Confederacy, and who desired to go 
to her friends in the North ; and, judging from appearances, I 
quite won upon the sympathies of the Federal commander. 
He asked me a great number of questions, which I answered 
to his satisfaction, and he then dismissed me, with a pass per- 
mitting me to go North. I could not help smiling at the 
ease with which I deceived General Rosecrans, and said to 
myself, as I retired from his presence, " My good old fellow, 
I'll teach you what we Southern women are good for before 
I am done with you." 

Having got my pass, I started off, with a general notion of 
seeing all I could see, and finding out all I could find out, 
watching all the time for an opportunity for the execution of 
a grand couj). Picking up information here and there, some 
of which was of no little importance, I travelled as far as 
Martinsburg, and had a considerable notion of proceeding to 
Washington, to see whether a second visit to that city w^ould 
not be even more productive of results than my first. Cir- 
cumstances occurred, however, which detained me in Martins- 
burg, and my trip to Washington was, therefore, deferred to 
another opportunity, and when the opportunity arrived the 
reader may be assured that I made good use of it. 


It was after night when I reached Martinsburg, and the 
only unoccupied room in the hotel where I stopped was the 
one belonging to a Federal quartermaster, that officer having 
been called away to Washington. The landlord, accordingly, 
put me in there, and I proceeded to make myself as much at 
home as possible in the quartermaster's quarters. As luck 
would have it, however, the officer returned during the night, 
and after I had retired, and finding the door bolted, he com- 
menced a furious knocking. 

A Disturbance. 

I was asleep when he began to make this noise, and it caused 
me to wake with a start. I had no idea who it was, but 
thought some drunken fellow was making a disturbance. I 
therefore concluded not to take any notice, thinking that when 
he found he could not get in he would go away. The quar- 
termaster, however, was angry at finding his room occupied, 
and being unable to obtain a response, finally said, " Open 
the door, inside there, or I will break it open ! " 

I thought that it was high time for me to speak now, and 
so said, in a half terrified tone of voice, " Who are you ? 
What do you want ? " 

Finding that his apartment had a feminine occupant, he 
lowered his voice somewhat, and said, " Excuse me, madam," 
and walked to the office, where he gave the clerk some sharp 
words for permitting any one to take his room. 

I heard him say, " I would like thundering well to know 
who she is ; " but the clerk was unable to give him any satis- 
factory information, and the upshot of the whole matter was, 
that he was obliged to sleep in the parlor, the clerk apolo- 
gizing for the inconvenience caused him, by saying that he did 
not know he was going to return so soon. 

The next morning I overheard the quartermaster say to the 
old negro porter, '' Uncle George, do you know who that 
woman is that they put into my room last night? " 

" No, sah ; I doesn't know, sah," replied the darkey. 

" What train did she come on ? " 

" On the western train, I believe, sah." 

" Was anybody with her ? " 

" Not as I knows of. I didn't see anybody with her, sah." 

" Is she good looking ? " 


" Yes, sail ; she's a pretty good looking lady, sah." 

This Avas flattering ; and the conipliment was the greater as 
it was evidently not intended for my ears, and I resolved 
to myself that Uncle George's good taste should be properly 

This conversation served to give me a hint as to the kind 
of man I had to deal with in the quartermaster, and I doubted 
not that if my good looks made anything like as favorable an 
impression on him as they apparently had done on Uncle 
George, I would have but little difficulty in inducing him to 
tell me a good many things tl^fit it would be highly advan- 
tageous for me to know, but which it would not be exactly 
according to the regulations of the Federal army for him to 
reveal to a Confederate spy. 

Having made my morning toilet, and having, in anticipation 
of striking up an acquaintance with the quartermaster, en- 
deavored to make myself as attractive as possible in outward 
appearance, I left my room, and went and took a seat in the 
parlor. It was not long before I saw my gentleman, or one 
whom I supposed to be he, walking past the door, and looking 
at me with a rather curious gaze. I, however, took no notice 
of him, concluding that it would be more to the purpose to 
let him make the first advances, something that he was evi- 
dently not indisposed to do. 

Breakfast was announced as ready before a great while, and 
with the announcement came the quartermaster's opportunity 
to introduce himself to me. Advancing towards me, he 
bowed ver}^ politely, and said, " Are you Mrs. Williams ? " 

" Yes, sir," I replied ; " that is my name." 

Smiling as agreeably as he could, he said, " I owe you an 
apology, madam, for the disturbance I made at your door last 
night. I was not aware that there was a lady in possession 
of the room." 

" 0, sir," I said, " no apology is necessary, I assure you. 
Indeed, I rather owe you one, for I fear I must have caused 
you some inconvenience." 

" 0, not at all, madam. On the contrary, when I learned 
that a lady had possession of the apartment, I regretted ex- 
ceedingly that I had made so much noise. We officers of the 
army, however, are inclined to become rather rough in our 
ways, owing to the associations we are thrown in with, and to 
our absence from female society. We forget, sometimes, that 
we are civilized human beings, and don't know exactly how 


to behave ourselves under circumstances where rudeness is 

" 0, pray, sir, don't apologize," I answered ; " I am sure 
that an officer of our brave army would not be intentionally 
rude under any circumstances." I thought that this would 
do to start the idea in his mind that I was a stanch Federal. 

Just then a colored woman appeared, and asked us whether 
we would not walk into breakfast ; and my new-made friend 
very politely said, " As you are a stranger here, will you 
permit me to escort you to the breakfast-room?" 

" Certainly, sir," I replied ; and taking his arm, we walked 
into the room together, my escort finding a seat for me beside 
himself at one of the pleasantest tables. 

During the progress of the meal, my friend manifested the 
greatest interest in me and my movements, and by a series 
of questions, he elicited the information that I was from 
Cincinnati, that I was uncertain how long I would remain, 
and that I was in search of a brother, whom I greatly 
feared was either killed or wounded, as he had not been heard 
of for an unusually long time. 

Concerning a Bogus Brother. 

The little game I was playing with the quartermaster will 
serve as a very fair specimen of the methods which a secret 
service agent is compelled to use for the purpose of gaining 
such information as is desired. A spy, or a detective, must 
have a quick eye, a sharp ear, a retentive memory, and a 
talent for taking advantage of small, and apparently unimpor- 
tant points, as aids for the accomplishment of the object in 
view. While making the journey which had brought me as 
far as Martinsburg, I had, of course, kept my eyes and ears 
open, and had consequently accumulated quite an extensive 
stock of knowledge which I thought might be useful some time. 
Among other things, I had learned the name of a Federal 
soldier belonging to General AverilPs command, and I made a 
mental note of it for future reference. I cannot recollect, at 
this distance of time from the incident, whether I accident- 
ally saw this name in a newspaper, or whether I overheard it 
mentioned in conversation between people near me in the 
cars. How I obtained it, however, is a matter of small conse- 
quence, for that I might have done in a thousand ways. At 
all events I had the name, and my purpose now was to use it 


as a means of making the Federal officer by my side at the 
hotel table useful to me. 

My friend asked me what company my brother belonged 
to, but I said tliat I could not tell him that. All I knew was, 
that he was under Averill, and that, as the command had been 
engaged in some sharp fighting lately, his family, as they had 
not iieard from him, were becoming exceedingly anxious. 

I behove that I wiped the semblance of a tear from my 
eye as I told all this, and looked as distressed as possible, in 
the hope of working on the quartermaster's sympathies. He 
proved as sympathetic as I could have desired ; and bidding 
me not to distress myself unnecessarily, but to hope for the 
best, he promised to undertake to find out for me where my 
brotlier was, if still alive, or, if it should turn out that he had 
been killed, where he was buried. 

Accordingly, when we had finished breakfast, he escorted 
me back to the parlor, and then, saying au revoir, he went 
immediately to headquarters to inspect the roll of the com- 
mand. Before a great while he returned, and, with a very 
sorrowful countenance, stated that it gave him pain to tell me 
that my dear brother was dead. 

" 0, that is awful ! " I cried, and began to go on at quite a 
rate, actually, I believe, squeezing out a few real tears. 

My friend tried to soothe me as well as he could, and finally, 
becoming calm, in response to repeated requests to do so on 
his part, I asked him where Dick was buried, and declared 
that I must visit his grave. 

That I should desire to see, and to weep over, the grave of 
my dear departed brother, seemed to the quartermaster both- 
reasonable and natural, and he said that he would get an 
ambulance and take me to the burial-place. 

At my Supposed Brother's Grave. 

Before many moments, therefore, the vehicle was in attend- 
ance, and my friend and I drove out to where my supposititious 
brother was buried. It was now my turn to question ; and my 
escort proved to be so exceedingly communicative, that before 
we returned to the hotel, I was informed of the exact number 
of troops in the neighborhood, their positions, their command- 
ers, where the enemy were supposed to be located, who they 
were commanded by, the results of the recent conflicts, and a 
variety of other matters of more or less importance. Th© 


man was as innocent and as unsuspicious as a new-bom babe, 
and I could scarcely keep from laughing sometimes at the 
eagerness he displayed in telling me all manner of things that, 
had he been possessed of ordinary common sense, he would 
never have revealed to any one, much less to a total stranger, 
witli regard to Avhose antecedents he knew absolutely nothing. 

Some of the information thus obtained I knew would be of 
vital importance to the Confederates, could it be conveyed to 
them immediately. I therefore made my arrangement, and 
that night slipped through the Federal lines, and told all that 
I had to tell to one of Mosby's pickets. With that extraor- 
dinary good luck which so often attends bold adventures, I 
succeeded in getting back without being observed or sus- 
pected, and my escort of the morning was never the wiser 
by the knowledge that his silly talkativeness had produced 
such good results for the Confederacy. 

I remained about a week in Martinsburg, and enjoyed 
myself immensely. Not only my friend, the quartermaster, 
but a number of other officers paid me verj^ marked atten- 
tions, and I was soon quite a rival to the belles of the place. 
I did not have another opportunity to communicate with the 
Confederate forces ; but this week was not an idle one, never- 
theless, and by the time it was ended, I was in possession of a 
large number of facts that were well worth knowing. While 
still undecided whether to push on farther or not, I received 
some intelligence which induced me to think it better to 

When I announced that I was about to depart, my friends, 
the officers, expressed the greatest regret. The quartermas- 
ter said, " We shall miss you greatly ; you have made your- 
self so agreeable since you have been here, that we shall 
scarcely know what to do without you." 

I said that I was sorry to go, but that my family was anxious 
for my return ; and as I bade the quartermaster good-by, I 
declared that I had half a mind to turn detective, for the 
purpose of catching the rebel who killed Dick. The quarter- 
master insisted that I should write to him when I got home ; 
and on his stating that he had a notion to come and see me 
when the war was over, I gave him a pressing invitation to 
do so, thinking that he would have a good time in finding me. 

But when I got back to Chattanooga, I had some trouble in 
making any farther progress ; but by representing myself as a 


soldier's wife, and expressing an extreme anxiety to see my 
husband, I was permitted to remain within the Federal lines, 
but was not afforded any particular facilities for finding out 
anything worth knowing. Aly anxiety now was to regain the 
Confederate lines at the earliest possible moment. As I knew 
the covuitry pretty well, I felt certain of being able to find 
the flirm-house where I had left my uniform, if I could only 
get a chance to go to it. Fortune favors the brave in a 
majority of cases, and ere long I was enabled to reach the 
house, but only to find that it had been burned, and, with the 
exception of the smoke-house and kitchen, was a mass of 
charred ruins. 

I confess that my heart sank within me when I saw that the 
house had been destroyed, for I would have been in a nice 
predicament, and without my masculine garments would have 
been even more unwelcome among the Confederates than I 
was among the Federals. To my great joy, however, I dis- 
covered the ash-barrel just where I had placed it and unharmed, 
and in a few moments I had discarded my feminine raiment, 
and was once more in the guise of a Confederate officer. The 
costume I wore, however, was not one in which I could appear 
with impunity in that neighborhood, and it was necessary, 
therefore, that I should make haste to get where it would be 
regarded with friendl}'^ feelings. 

Ere many moments I was crawling through the underbrush 
and under the fences, with my coat and cap tied up in a bundle, 
so that I could drop them in case of necessity. In this way I 
worked myself slowly and cautiously along for several hours 
during the night, in the direction of the Confederate outposts. 
When it was light enough for me to see with reasonable dis- 
tinctness, I made a reconnoisance, and concluded that I must 
have been within the Confederate lines for more than an hour. 

To my left I saw the railroad track tolerably close to the 
road I was on, and the smoke of the camp was clearly visible. 
I then crept back into the bush and made for the nearest 
camp, not wishing to be stopped either by friend or foe at this 
particular point. Before I reached the point I was aiming at, 
however, I was compelled to take a rest, for the kind of 
travelling I had been doing was the hardest kind of hard work, 
and I w^as tolerably Avell used up. Drawing on my coat, 
therefore, I sat down and began to think what story it would 
be best for me to tell in order to obtain such a reception as I 


desired. After turning over the matter in my mind, I con- 
cluded to represent myself as an escaped prisoner belonging 
to Morgan's command. 

Back in the Confederate Lines. 

Having thoroughly arranged my plan of action in my mind, 
I walked up boldly to a picket, whom I saw sitting on a horse 
at some distance, and saluting him, and telling him that I was 
unarmed, asked to see the officer of the guard. The officer 
soon came riding out of the woods towards me, and asked who 
I was. I told him that I was an escaped prisoner, and that I 
belonged to Morgan's command, and produced my transporta- 
tion papers and the letter to General Polk, which had been 
given to me in the early part of the war. The officer read 
the papers, which he apparently did not find particularly 
satisfactory, and scanned me very closely, as if he thought 
that there was something not quite right about me. 

I Avas much afraid lest he should suspect something, for I 
had no mustache, and having become somewhat bleached, was 
not by any means so masculine in appearance as I had been 
at one time. I, however, bore his scrutiny without flinching, 
and he apparently did not know what to do but to receive me 
for what I appeared to be. He accordingly told me that I 
should have to wait where I was until the relief came, when 
he would conduct me to camp. 

I told him that I was terribly hungry and tired, having 
walked from Chattanooga since early in the previous evening 
without food or sleep, and that I would like to get where I 
could obtain some breakfast. As a means of softening his 
heart, I pulled out a little pocket flask of whiskey, and asked 
him if he would not take a drink. His eye brightened at the 
sight of the flask, and he accepted my invitation without a 
moment's hesitation. Putting it to his lips, he took a good 
pull, and when he handed it back there was mighty little left 
in it. This little I gave to the sergeant, who appeared to 
relish the liquor as highly as his superior did. The whiskey 
had the desired effect ; for the officer told me he guessed I 
had better not wait for the relief, and detailed a man to show 
me the way to camp. 

On our arrival at camp, the man took me to the officer's 
tent, where I made myself as much at home as I could until 


the master appeared. It was not long, however, before he 
followed me, and to my great satisfaction, an excellent break- 
fast was in a short time placed on the table. 

After breakfast, the boys, having heard of the arrival of an 
escaped prisoner, I was speedily surrounded by a crowd of 
eager questioners, who were anxious to hear all the news 
from the Federal army. I tried to satisfy their curiosity as 
well as I could, and told them that the Yankees had received 
heavy re-enforcements, and were preparing to make a grand 
movement, and a variety of other matters, part fact and part 
fiction. Having got rid of my questioners, I took a good 
sleep until noon, and then, borrowing a horse, rode down to 
Dalton, where I learned that Captain De Caulp was sick at 
Atlanta, and resolved to make an effort to get there for the 
purpose of seeing him. 

I was spared the necessity, however, of being obliged to 
make any special plans for the accomplishment of this end, 
for I managed to severely hurt the foot which had been 
wounded shortly after the battle of Fort Donelson, and became 
so lame that it was decided to send me to Atlanta for medical 



The Kind of People an Army is made up of. — Gentlemen and Blackguards. 
— The Demoralization of Warfare. — How I managed to keep out of Dif- 
ficulties. — The Value of a Fighting Reputation. — A Quarrel with a 
drunken General. — I threaten to shoot him. — My Illness, and the kind 
Attentions received from Friends. — I am admitted to the Empire Hos- 
pital. — The Irksomeness of a Sick-bed. — I learn that my Lover is in 
the same Hospital, and resolve to see him as soon as I am convalescent. 

N army is made up of all kinds of people, — 
^ the rougher element of masculine human 
nature, of necessity, predominating ; and not 
the least of the evil effect of a great war is, 
that it tends to develop a spirit of ruffian- 
ism, which, Avhen times of peace return, is of 
no benefit to society. A man who is instinctively a 
gentleman, will be one always, and in spite of the 
demoralizing influences of warfare ; but one who is 
only a gentleman by brevet, and whose native black- 
guardism is only concealed on ordinary occasions by a super- 
ficial polish of cultivation, will be apt to show himself a black- 
guard at the earliest opportunity amidst camp associations. 
Such men are usually cringing sycophants before their supe- 
riors, bullies to those who are under them, shirks when fight- 
ing is going on, and plunderers when opportunities for plunder 
are offered. It is creditable to the American people, as a 
class, that the great armies which contended with each other 
so earnestly during four long, weary years of warfare, were 
disbanded and dismissed to their homes with so little injury 
to society ; for, under the very best auspices, war is not cal- 
culated to make men good citizens, while it is pretty certain 
to make those who are ruffians and blackguards already, worse 
than they were before they took up arms. 

During the time that 1 wore the uniform of a Confederate 
officer, I was, of course, brought into contact with all sorts of 



people, — blackguards as well as gentlemen, — and had some 
pretty good opportunities for studying masculine character. 
The warnings that had been given me witli regard to the 
most peculiarly unpleasant and disgusting features of camp 
life, I very speedily discovered were only too well founded ; 
and had 1 been possessed by a less fervid enthusiasm for 
the cause, or a less resolute determination to carry out my pur- 
pose, I might at an early day have given the whole thing up 
in disgust. I got accustomed, however, in time to rough, pro- 
fane, even dirty language, and did not mind it ; or, at least, did 
not permit myself to be annoyed by it. The best and most 
highly esteemed of my acquaintances in the army permitted 
themselves a license of language and conduct that they would 
not have ventured upon in the society of ladies ; but this, 
while it shocked me somewhat at first, I finally came to regard 
as a matter of course ; and when I heard things from the lips 
of those whom I knew to be gentlemen at heart, which offended 
my ears, I regarded the annoyance I felt as one of the penal- 
ties of the anomalous position I occupied, and very speedily 
learned to bear with it. 

It was different, however, with another class of men, who 
seemed to take deliglit in showing, on every possible occasion, 
what consummate blackguards thej' were. These I ever re- 
garded with loathing and contempt ; and I hope that some 
of them will undertake the perusal of this narrative, in order 
that they may know what I think of them. 

Keeping the Peace. 

With the ruffianly elements of an army it was exceedingly 
difficult for decent, peaceably-disposed people to get along on 
any terms. An indisposition to quarrel was regarded as an 
evidence of cowardice ; and as your genuine bully delights in 
nothing more than in tormenting one whom he imagines will 
not light, a reputation for being willing to fight, on the shortest 
notice, is an excellent thing to have by one Avho desires to 
avoid getting into difficulties. 

Situated as 1 was, it was especially important that I should 
not quarrel if I could help it ; but 1 was not long in finding 
out that, as quarrelling was necessary sometimes, the bold 
course was the best, both for the present and the future, and 
that l)y promptly resenting anything approaching an insult, 
I would be likely to avoid being insulted thereafter, I, there- 


fore, very speedily let it be known that I was ready to fight 
at a moment's notice, if there was any real occasion for fight- 
ing ; but, at the same time, that I desired to live peaceably 
■with everybody, and was not inclined to quarrel if I was let 
alone. The result of this line of policy was, that, as a general 
rule, I got along smoothly enough, but occasionally I could not 
avoid an angry controversy with somebody ; and when I did 
become involved in anything of the kind, I usually tried to give 
my antagonist to understand, in plain terms, that I was not an 
individual to be trifled with. 

On my arrival at Atlanta, I unfortunately had a little un- 
pleasantness, which caused me very serious disquietude for a 
time, owing to the peculiar situation in which I was placed, 
and which might have had some ill results, either for the per- 
son W'ho started the quarrel or for myself, had it not been for 
the good judgment and consideration of one or two of my 
friends, who persuaded me not to resort to any extreme 

I was expecting to see Captain De Caulp, and was very 
anxious with regard to him, as I did not know exactly what 
his condition w^as, and feared that he might be seriously ill. 
It was my intention to go to him, to devote myself to him if 
he should need my services, and perhaps to reveal myself to 
him. Indeed, I pretty much made up my mind that our mar- 
riage should take place as soon as he was convalescent ; and, 
in view of such an event occurring shortly, I was in no humor 
for a mere bar-room squabble with a drunken ruffian, and 
would have avoided such a thing at almost any cost, could I 
have had Avarning with regard to its probability. More than 
this, in addition to the lameness of my foot, I was really quite 
sick, and at the time of the occurrence ought to have been 
in bed under the doctor's care, and was consequently less dis- 
posed than ever to engage in a brawl. 


Unsuspecting any trouble, however, I went to the hotel, 
and registered my name, and was almost immediately sur- 
rounded by a number of officers, who were eager to learn 
what was going on at the front. Among them was General 
P., — I do not give his name in full for his own sake, — an 
individual who thought more of whiskey than he did of his 
future existence, and who was employing his time in getting 


drunk at Atlanta, instead of doing his duty at the front by lead- 
ing liis men. 

He saw that I was a little fellow, and probably thouglit, on 
that account, he could bully me with impunity ; so, while I 
was answering the thousand and one questions that were put 
to me, lie began making offensive and insulting remarks, and 
asking me insolent questions, until I longed to give him a 
lesson in good manners that he would not forget in a hurry, 
and resolved that I would make an effort to chastise him 
if he did not behave himself. 

This was one of the class of men for which I had a hearty 
contempt ; and, as I neither wished to be annoyed by his 
drunken insolence, nor to quarrel with him if I could avoid it, 
I left the office and went into the Avash-room. The general evi- 
dently considered this a retreat due to his prowess, — prowess 
which he was careful not to make any great display of within 
the smell of gunpowder, — and he followed me, apparently 
determined to provoke me to the utmost. I, however, took 
no notice of him, but, after washing my hands, came out and 
took a seat in the office beside my esteemed friend, Major 
Bacon — a thorough gentleman in every sense of the word. 

My persecutor still following me, now came and seated him- 
self on the other side of me, and made some insolent remark — 
wliich I do not care to remember. This excited my wrath, and 
I resolved to put a stop to the tipsy brute's annoyances. I 
accordingly said to him, ^' See here, sir, I don't want to have 
anything to do with you, so go away and let me be, or it will 
be worse for you." 

At this he sprang up, his eyes glaring with drunken fury, 
and swinging his arms around in that irresponsible way incident 
to inebriety, he began to swear in lively fashion, and said, 
" Whafll be worse for me ? What do you mean ? I'll lick 
you out of your boots ! I can lick you, or any dozen like 

Nice talk, this, for a general, who was supposably a gen- 
tleman, wasn't it ? I merely said, in reply, '* You are too 
drunk, sir, to be responsible. I intend, however, when you 
are sober, that you shall apologize to me for this, or else make 
you settle it in a way that will, perhaps, not be agreeable to 

He glared at me as I uttered these words ; but my firm 
manner evidently cowed him, and turning, with a coarse, 
tipsy laugh, he said, to an officer who was standing near 


watching the performance, " Come, colonel, let's take another 
drink ; he won't fight ; " and they accordingly walked olf 
towards the bar-room together. 

This last remark enraged me to such a degree, that I 
declared I would shoot him if he came near me again. Major 
Bacon tried to pacify me, and said that I had better let him 
alone, as he was not worth noticing. After considerable per- 
suasion 1 concluded that there was very little credit to be got 
by following up a quarrel with such a blackguard, and made 
up my mind to have nothing to do with him, if it was possible 
to avoid him. 

The general did not come near me until after supper, when 
I met him again at the bar. As I had not undertaken to pun- 
ish him for his behavior to me, he evidently thought that I 
was afraid of him ; and, without addressing me directly, he 
began to make insulting side remarks, aimed at me. I was on 
the point of going up and slapping his face, Avhen Major Bacon 
and Lieutenant Chamberlain, thinking that it was not worth 
while for me to get into trouble about such a fellow, induced 
me to go to my room. 

Already quite ill, and far from able to be about, the excite- 
ment of this unpleasant occurrence made me worse, and I 
passed a night of great suffering from a high fever, and from 
my sore foot, which pained me extremely. The major waited 
on me in the kindest manner, bathing my foot with cold water, 
and procuring some medicine for me from the hospital stew- 
ard, and towards morning I fell into a sound sleep, which 
refreshed me greatly, although I was still very sick. 

In the morning Major Bacon ordered me some breakfast, of 
which, however, I was able to eat but little. While I was 
breakfasting, he said, '' How are you off for money, lieu- 
tenant? " 

" I have only twenty-four dollars in my pocket just now," 
I replied, " but I intend to send to Mobile for some to-day." 

'' Well," said he, " you may need some before yours comes, 
so here's one hundred and fifty dollars at your service. I will 
have to leave at five o'clock, but before I go I will try and 
see that you are in good hands, and in a way to be well taken 
care of." 

The major then went out, and about two o'clock returned 
with Dr. Hay, who prescribed for me. During the afternoon 
I was visited by a number of my friends, who appeared to be 
solicitous for my welfare, and who did their best to cheer me 


up. I was too sick, however, to enjoy their company much, 
although I appreciated their kind intentions. I really felt sad 
at the idea of being forsaken by Major Bacon, who would 
gladly have staid by me had he not been under positive 
orders to leave. When the time came for him to go, he shook 
me by the hand, and said, " Lieutenant, my boy, I will have 
to leave you now. Lieutenant Chamberlain and tlie doctor 
will take good care of you, and I hope you will be up soon." 
I asked the major to write to me, and he promised to do so, 
and bidding me good-by, he took his departure. After Major 
Bacon had gone. Lieutenant Chamberlain took charge of me, 
and I shall ever be grateful for the unwearied kindness of his 
attention. There was nothing I desired, that was procurable, 
that he did not get for me, and had I been his own relative 
he could not have done more to promote my comfort. 

In the Hospital. 

As I got worse instead of better, however, it was concluded 
that the hospital was the best place for me, and to the Empire 
Hospital I accordingly was sent, by order of the cliief 
surgeon of the post. I was first admitted into Dr. Ham- 
mond's ward, and subsequently into that of Dr. Hay. Dr. 
Hay, who was a whole-souled little fellow, is dead, but Dr. 
Hammond is still living, and I am glad of such an oppor- 
tunity as this of testifying to his noble qualities. During the 
entire period I was under his care in the hospital, he treated 
me, as he did all his patients, with the greatest kindness. 

0, but these were sad and weary days that I spent in the 
hospital ! I cannot tell how I longed, once more, to be out in 
the open air and the sunshine, and participating in the grand 
scenes that were being enacted not many miles away. My 
restless disposition made sickness especially irksome to me, 
and I felt sometimes as if I could scarcely help leaving my bed, 
and going as I was to the front, for the purpose of plunging 
into the thickest of the fight ; while at other moments, when 
the fever was strong upon me, I almost wished that I might 
die, rather than to be compelled to toss about thus on a couch 
of pain. 

There was one consolation, however, in all my sufferings, 
which sustained me, and made me measurably patient and con- 
tented to endure the irksomeness of the restraint which my 
illness placed upon me, — I was near the man I loved, and 


hoped soon, to have an opportunity to see and to converse with 
him. I learned soon after my admission to the hospital that 
Captain De Caulp was in Dr. Benton's ward, adjoining that 
under the charge of Dr. Hay ; and to be under the same roof 
with him, and the probability that ere long I would be able to 
see him again, helped me to bear up under the suffering I was 
called upon to endure. I resolved that if Captain De Caulp 
was willing, our marriage should take place so soon as we 
were able to leave the hospital ; and I busied myself in won- 
dering what he would say when he discovered what strange 
pranks I had been playing since we had been corresponding 
as lovers. I almost dreaded to reveal to him that the little 
dandified lieutenant, who had volunteered to fight in his com- 
pany at Shiloh, and the woman to whom he was bound by an 
engagement of marriage, were the same ; but I felt that the 
time for the disclosure to be made had arrived, and was deter- 
mined to make it at the earliest opportunity. 



Sick-bed Fancies. — Reflections on my military Career. — I almost re- 
solve to abandon the Garb of a Soldier. — Difficulties in the Way of 
achieving Greatness. — Warfare as a laborious Business. — The Favors 
of Fortune sparingly bestowed. — Prospective Meeting with my Lover. 
— Anxiety to know what he would think of the Course I had been pur- 
suing in figuring in the Army as a Man. — A strange Courtship. — More 
like a Chapter of Romance than a grave Reahty. — My Recollections 
of an old Spanish Story, read in my Childhood, that in some respects 
reminds me of my own Experiences. — The Story of Estela. — How 
the Desires of a Pair of Lovers were opposed by stern Parents. — An 
Elopement planned. — The Abduction of Estela through the Instru- 
mentality of a Rival. — She is carried off by Moorish Pirates, and sold 
as a Slave. — Her Escape from Slavery, and how she entered the Army 
of the Emperor disguised as a Man. — Estela saves the Emperor's 
Life, and is promoted to a high Office. — Her Meeting with her Lover, 
and her Endeavors to make him confess his Faith in her Honor. — The 
Appointment of Estela as Governor of her native City. — The Trial of 
her Lover on the Charge of having murdered her. — Happy Ending of 
the Story. — I am inspired, by my Recollections of the Story of Estela, 
to hear from the Lips of my Lover his Opinion of me before I reveal 
myself to him. — Impatient Waiting for the Hour of Meeting. 

|HILE tossing upon my sick-bed in the 
hospital, I was compelled, for very lack 
of other occupation, to think of many 
things that, under ordinary circumstances, 
busied as I habitually was with innumera- 
ambitious schemes, would never have pressed 
themselves upon my mind with the force they now 
did. This was a strange life I had been leading 
now for more than two years, and yet it was the 
kind of a life that, from my earliest childhood, I had 
ardently longed to lead. I had some understanding 
now of what the great discoverers, adventurers, and soldiers, 
who were the idols of my childish imagination, had been com- 
pelled to go through with before they won the undying fame 



that was theirs, and I comprehended, .to some degree, how 
hard a thing it was to win fame. 

For myself, I had played my part in the great drama of war 
with what skill I could command ; and, although I had not 
played it altogether unsuccessfully, the chances that fame 
and the applause of future ages would be mine, seemed as 
remote as ever. Warfare, despite all that was terrible and 
horrible about it, was, to the majority of those who partici- 
pated in it, a most commonplace, practical, and far from ex- 
citing business, in which the chances for eminent distinction 
seldom appeared, and in which Fortune showered her favors 
only on a chosen few. And yet there was an almost irresisti- 
ble fascination in being an active participant in the great 
events upon which the destinies of a continent were hanging, 
and the possibility that, at any moment almost, something 
might occur by which the humblest among the host of com- 
batants would be immortalized, gave a zest to the hard work, 
and an inspiration to exertion. 

Had I continued in health, the probabilities are that the 
idea of abandoning the cause I had chosen before the close 
of the war, would never have been permitted to take lodg- 
ment in my brain, and I would have gone on from one adven- 
ture to another, in spite of every discouragement and disap- 
pointment, hoping always that I would be able to achieve 
something great. Now, however, lying upon my sick-bed, I 
could not but confess to myself that I was disappointed, and 
that I was following a will-o'-the-wisp in striving to gain for 
myself a great name by heroic deeds. Although I had no 
regrets for the course I had pursued, and as I reviewed in my 
mind the momentous events in which I had been an active 
participant during the two years I had been wearing a Con- 
federate officer's uniform, my heart beat proudly at the recol- 
lection of them, I nevertheless almost concluded that I had 
had enough of this, and that it was time for me to exchange 
my uniform for the attire of my own sex once more, and 
in good earnest, with the intention of never resuming it 

Thoughts of Love. 

These were sick fancies, and I felt ashamed of myself at 
times for my weakening in the resolution I had formed to see 
the thing through at all hazards, in some shape, and, if there 
was a possibility of doing it, of making for myself a great 


name as a soldier. But there were other influences at Avork 
to make me doubtful of the propriety of my longer continuing 
the ha/.avdous experiment of passing myself off as a man. In 
an adjoining ward of the hospital was my lover, to a speedy 
meeting with whom I was looking forward with many fond 
anticipations. How would he regard my conduct? And 
should he, as I hoped he would, be proud of my efforts to 
advance the Confederate cause by doing a soldier's duty, 
would he be willing that I should longer continue to wear 
my uniform, especially if we should conclude to have our 
marriage solemnized at an early day ? These were questions 
that pressed themselves upon me, and that, even more than 
the dispiriting influences of a sick-room, made me half 
repent that I had ever assumed male attire, and made me 
more than half resolve to permanently abandon it so soon as I 
was out of the hospital. 

I was curious, however, rather than apprehensive, with re- 
gard to the effect of the disclosures I would have to make 
when i met Captain De Caulp. There was nothing that I had 
done that I need blush for, while he had himself been the wit- 
ness, on one momentous occasion, of my prowess as a warrior, 
and I longed to hear him repeat to me, as a woman, the praise 
he had so freely bestowed upon me as a man when we fought 
side by side at Shiloh. 

What a strange courtship ours had been ! The only time 
we had met since our engagement was on the field of battle, 
and in the midst of scenes of carnage, and here we both were 
now, sick in adjoining wards of the same hospital ; I, longing 
to be with him, but unable to go to his side ; and he, all un- 
conscious that the woman he loved was so near; sighing, 
doubtless, for the time to come when our futures would be 
united, but never dreaming that the future he sighed for was 
so near at hand. It was like a romance, and it was in the 
scenes of a romance, the memories of which floated through 
my mind as I thought over the situation, that I alone could 
find any similitude to it. 

I recollected, as I reviewed the circumstances of my own 
case, an old Spanish novelet, which I had read when a girl, 
and which had long since passed out of mind with other 
childish memories, but the incidents of which now came back 
to me with singular vividness, on account of a certain resem- 
blance they had to points in my own career. The author's 
name I forgot, but I distinctly remembered the story, which 


was one of a collection in an old book I was fond of perusing 
when at home under my father's roof at the Puerto de Palmas 
plantation in Cuba. 

The Story of Estela. 

The name of the heroine of this tale was Estela, and she 
was beloved by a handsome, rich, and gallant young man, — 
all the heroes in these old Spanish novels are yonng, hand- 
some, rich, and of high birth, and all the heroines are mar- 
vels of beauty, — and for a long time the course of true love 
ran smoothly enough. At length, however, a young grandee, 
of enormous wealth, also became enamoured of Estela; and 
although he failed to win the affection of the lady, he suc- 
ceeded, without any difficulty, in becoming the choice of her 
parents ; not that they had any objections to Don Carlos, — 
which I believe was the name of Estela's lover, — but that 
his rival promised to be a more splendid match for their 
daughter. Don Carlos was, therefore, forbidden to hold any 
correspondence with the object of his adoration, but, as Es- 
tela continued true to him in spite of her parents' opposi- 
tion, they were accustomed to meet surreptitiously, through 
the agency of the lady's waiting-maid and the gentleman's 
page, who arranged secret interviews for them. 

Now, it so happened that while the pair were thus carrying 
on their secret courtship, the page of Don Carlos took sick 
and died. It was not many days, however, before a hand- 
some youth applied to be taken into his service, who proved 
himself so zealous and faithful that he was soon intrusted 
with all his inaster's secrets. This youth, however, was a 
woman, who had fallen in love with Don Carlos, and who, 
unable to attract his attention in any other way, had resorted 
to this means of bringing herself to his notice, and of being 
near him, in the hope that something would occur to enable 
her to win his love. 

The heroines of these old Spanish romances seem to have 
had a decided fancy for masquerading in male attire, and it is 
not unlikely that this propensity on their part had some effect 
in encouraging in me a desire to assume the dress of the other 
sex for the purpose of seeking adventures. I can call to 
mind many more stories than the one I am endeavoring to 
give a brief outline of, in which the women attempt, for the 
accomplishment of different ends, to figure as men, and it is 


'"Jr^y'/'l ! ii^TLANTA 




i ) 


scarcely possible tliat I was uninfluenced by a perusal of the 
narratives of their exploits. 

The new page, as I have stated, easily gained the entire 
confidence of Don Carlos, and was employed as the messen- 
ger between him and his lady-love. She, however, soon 
found that he was so much absorbed in Estela, that it was 
useless to hope to win him, unless her rival could be removed ; 
and she accordingly set about devising a plan for the accom- 
plishment of this end. An opportunity soon offered ; for the 
parents of Estela, despite her unwillingness, were determined 
that she should accept the hand of the lover of their choice, 
and made their arrangements for a speedy wedding. Estela, 
of course, informed Don Carlos of this, and he, seeing that his 
bride would be lost to him unless he acted with decision, per- 
suaded her to consent to an elopement with him to another 
city, where their marriage could take place. 

The fictitious page was, of course, informed of all that was 
proposed by the lovers, and felt that the time had now come 
for lier to interfere. Don Carlos and Estela, having arranged 
for the elopement to take place on a certain night, the lady 
wrote a letter to her parents, stating that, unable to endure 
the idea of marrying, at their dictation, a man whom she did 
not love, she had ventured to incur their displeasure by unit- 
ing herself with Don Carlos, for whom, as they well knew, s.he 
had long borne a tender regard. 

The page, to whom had been intrusted the task of con- 
ducting the lady to a rendezvous, where her lover would be 
waiting with horses to bear them away beyond the reach of 
pursuit until the marriage should take place, basely betrayed 
the trust confided to her, however, and, instead of delivering 
Estela to her lover, took her to where some Moorish pirates 
were in waiting, by whom she was seized, and carried oft' to 
Algiers, to be sold as a slave. The pirates, as a precaution 
against treachery, insisted upon the page going with them ; 
and thus Estela became informed that her betrayer was a 
woman, and also learned the reason for her conduct. 

On the disappearance of Estela being discovered, the only 
clew to the mystery was the letter she had written, announcing 
her intention of eloping with Don Carlos ; and that gentleman, 
who had been waiting anxiously and impatiently for her, and 
who was lost in wonder at her non-appearance at the ren- 
dezvous, was accused of having spirited her away, and per- 
haps of having murdered her. He was not only overwhelmed 


with anguish at such a charge being brought against him, but 
was sorely perplexed to know what had become of the lady ; 
and, as day after day passed by, and no tidings of her were 
received, he at length forced himself to believe that she had 
proved false to him, had accepted the page for a lover, and 
had fled with him. In the mean time the indignation against 
him increased, and the suspicions that he was the murderer 
of his mistress grew into certainty in many minds. . His trial, 
on the charge of murder, was therefore ordered ; but, deter- 
mined not to be made the victim of a false woman's treachery 
if he could avoid it, he made his escape from prison, and, 
flying to Italy, entered the army of the emperor, Charles V., 
as a common soldier. 

In the mean while, Estela, after passing through many 
strange adventures in the land of the Moors, at length suc- 
ceeded in making her escape, in male attire, and she, too, 
joined the army of the emperor, which was then besieging 
some Moorish town. In a skirmish which occurred soon after, 
she had the good fortune to save the life of the emperor, who, 
finding that she was a person of education and talents, ap- 
pointed her — little suspecting her to be a woman — to an 
important position near his own person. Estela soon became 
the emperor's favorite officer, and he delighted in heaping 
honors upon her, she, all the while, longing only for an oppor- 
tunity to return to her own country, for the purpose of 
seeking her lover. 

One day, however, she was amazed to behold a soldier in 
the ranks who reminded her greatly of Don Carlos, and, on 
engaging in conversation, found that it was indeed he. She, 
therefore, took him to her tent, and, by degrees, succeeded in 
inducing him to tell his story. That he should have suffered 
so much on her account, grieved her exceedingly ; but her 
womanly pride was touched that he should suspect her honor, 
and she resolved to try and induce him to have a better opin- 
ion of her than he professed, before revealing herself. Ap- 
pointing Don Carlos to the post of secretary, she engaged 
him, almost daily, in conversation about his lost love, and 
endeavored, by various means, to persuade him that Estela 
might be guiltless. 

The melancholy of Don Carlos, however, increased the 
more the matter was talked about. He could not help con- 
fessing that he still loved Estela tenderly, despite her unwor- 
thiness, but it was impossible to induce him to think that she 


was not unworthy. That he still loved her, was some conso- 
lation to Estela, iDut it piqued her that he should be unwilling 
to admit that there might be some explanation of her strange 
disappearance that would relieve her of blame. While de- 
vising in her mind some plan for bringing Don Carlos to 
reason, she learned that the governor of her native city had 
suddenly died. This suggested a means of accomplishing 
her purpose, and she accordingly applied to the emperor for 
the vacant office. Her request was granted, and she set off 
immediately to take possession of the governorship, Don 
Carlos going with her, feeling sure that, as one of the new 
governor's household, he would be free from molestation on 
account of the old charge against him, or, at least, that he 
would be able to receive a fair and impartial trial. 

So soon as the new governor was installed, and it was found 
that Don Carlos was in his suite, the parents of Estela, and 
other prominent citizens, stated what the accusations against 
him were, and demanded that he be brought to trial, and 
punished according to law. The governor promised that 
strict justice should be done, and appointed a day for the trial 
to take place, refusing, however, to permit Don Carlos to be 
sent to prison, and promising to be responsible for him. 

Up to the time of the trial the conferences between the 
governor and the secretary were frequent, and Estela re- 
doubled her efforts to make her lover acknowledge, not only 
that he loved, but that he still had infinite faith in his lady. 

This, as I recollect it, was the most intensely interesting 
and exciting part of the story, and it made a strong impres- 
sion on my imagination. I thought the lady cruel in unneces- 
sarily prolonging the misery of her lover, and at the same 
time, although I was but a child when I read the story, I 
could not but appreciate the feelings which induced her to 
desire that Don Carlos should confess that he had banished all 
unworthy suspicion of her from his mind before she cleared 
up the mystery of her disappearance. 

At length the confession was forced from the unhappy 
man, that, as Estela had never given him reason to think, by 
any levity of conduct, that she was capable of loving another 
than himself, much less that she was capable of basely for- 
saking him for one less worthy,, he still, in his inmost soul, 
had faith in her honor, and that the dream of his life Avas, 
that he might be able to be reunited to her. 

The day of trial came, and Estela, as the chief magistrate 


of the city, sat upon the bench, with the other judges, to hear 
the case. The various witnesses who appeared related the 
story of Estela's disappearance ; her letter, announcing her 
proposed flight with Don Carlos, was produced ; the servants 
who had been cognizant of the clandestine meetings of the 
lovers related in detail all they knew about the frequent inter- 
views Don Carlos had had with Estela, without the knowledge 
of her parents ; to all of which the accused could oppose 
nothing but a simple denial of his guilt. 

The disguised Estela, in her character of governor, said, 
with a frown, and with pretended severity, that, had she 
known there was such a weight of evidence against Don Car- 
los, she could never have given him her protection, or have 
continued him in his office of secretary. The only way in 
which his innocence could be proved, in the face of such tes- 
timony, was by the appearance of Estela, but that, if she 
could not be produced, it would be necessary to pronounce 

The miserable man now threw himself at the feet of the 
governor, and besought him to remember how, long before 
either of them had any reason to believe they would be called 
upon to appear before each other in the character of accused 
and judge, he had told his whole story, and had confessed his 
love for Estela, despite the reason he had for believing that 
she had acted basely to him, and how, but a brief time be- 
fore, he had not only acknowledged his unaltered affection, 
but his faith in Estela's honor, and besought that true justice 
might be done, despite what seemed to be an accumulation 
of evidence against him. 

Estela, moved by these entreaties, and overcome by the 
confession of enduring love and of faith in her honor, made 
in the presence of a great assembly, was unable longer to 
restrain herself, and she therefore proclaimed that, notwith- 
standing the evidence, as she knew Don Carlos to be innocent, 
she would order his release. This excited a loud murmur of 
discontent; whereupon the governor, commanding silence, 
revealed herself to the marvelling crowd as the lost Estela, 
and, throwing herself in the arms of Don Carlos, asked his 
pardon for the severe tests she had put him to for the purpose 
of proving that his affection for her was the same as ever. 

The lovers were married without delay, and, as the hero 
and heroine of a novel ought to be, they were happy ever 
afterwards, the emperor giving to Don Carlos the governor- 


ship of the city in place of Estela, — who preferred to relin- 
quish masculine duties with masculine attire, — and otherwise 
making the reunited pair the recipients of favors which testi- 
fied, in a practical manner, his esteem for them. 

This is but a feeble and incomplete recital of a very pretty 
story, and is only entitled to a place in this narrative of my 
own adventures, because it was so much in my thoughts at 
the particular period of which I am now writing, and because 
it inspired me to imitate Estela's example so far as to seek to 
obtain a confession of love from Captain De Caulp, before I 
should reveal myself to him. I was filled with an eager de- 
sire to hear what he would say of me to his friend, the sup- 
posed Lieutenant Buford, and having arranged in my mind 
what I should say to him when we met, I waited, with ill- 
disguised impatience, for the time to come when I could put 
my plan in execution, trying to imagine, all the while, what 
would be the efiect upon him when the whole truth was made 

It was a weary while waiting, though, for the hour of 
meeting to come, and, had my physicians permitted it, I 
would have left my sick-bed to go to Captain De Caulp long 
before I was really able to be on my feet. Dr. Hammond, 
however, knew better what was good for me than I knew 
myself, and he constrained me to remain under his care until 
he should be able to pronounce me able to care for myself 
once more ; and, as there was no use in resisting his orders, 
I obeyed them perforce, with what patience I could command. 



Convalescence. — I pay a Visit to my Lover. — A friendly Feeling. — A 
Surprise in Store for him. — I ask him about his matrimonial Prospects, 
and endeavor to ascertain tlie State of his Affections towards me. — An 
affecting Scene. — The Captain receives a Letter from his Lady-love. — 
"She has come! She has come!" — The Captain prepares for a 
Meeting with his Sweetheart. — A Question of Likeness. — A puzzling 
Situation. — I reveal my Identity. — Astonishment and Joy of my Lover. 

— Preparations for our Wedding. — A very quiet Affair proposed. — 
The Wedding. — A short Honeymoon. — Departure of my Husband for 
the Front. — My Apprehensions for his Health. — My AiDprehensions 
justified in the News of his Death in a Federal Hospital in Chattanooga. 

— Once more a Widow. 

^ FTER a weary waiting, which I thought would 

never end, both Captain De Caulp and myself 

were convalescent. At the earliest moment 

that I could obtain permission to leave my 

ward I went to see him, being naturally more 

impatient for a meeting than he was ; for, although we 

had exchanged greetings through our physicians, it was 

simply as friends and officers of the Confederate army, 

^^ and not as lovers, and he had no suspicion whatever 

that his sick neighbor of the hospital was other than the young 

lieutenant whose acquaintance he had formed at Pensacola, 

and who had fought beside him at Shiloh. 

He was extremely glad to see me, however, much more so 
than I expected he would be ; but the fact was, it had been so 
long since he had had a chance to chat with any of his old 
friends, that it was a genuine pleasure to him to have any one 
call on him for the sake of a lively talk over old times. I 
found him sadly reduced and M'orn by the severe illness 
through which he had just passed ; but, although he was weak, 
he was evidently improving, and in a fair way for a rapid 



When I came in and stood by his bedside, he smiled, and 
hehl out his hand, and said, " 1 am mighty gkid to sue you 
again, lieutenant. It is like meeting- a brother." 

A DELICATE Subject. 

I said that I was rejoiced to meet him again, and would 
have called on him much sooner had tlie doctors permitted it. 
I then asked him how he was coming on, about the nature of 
his sickness, and matters of that kind, and gradually drifted 
into a conversation about things in general, — the progress of 
the war, the people we knew, matters at home, — and so led 
him up to the subject about which I particularly desired to 
speak with him. After some little preliminary talk, which 
would enable me to bring the question in naturally, without 
exciting suspicion that I had any but a merely friendly interest 
in tlie matter, I said, "Captain, are you married yet? You 
know you told me some time ago you were engaged, and were 
expecting very shortly to ask the lady to name the day." 

" No," said he, " the wedding has not come off yet, but I 
hope it will very shortl}'. I should have gone home for the 
pur})ose of getting married if I had kept my health, but this 
si)ell of sickness has knocked all my plans in the head." 

" Does the lady know that you are sick?" I asked. " Have 
you heard from her recently ? " 

" I doubt whether she does," he replied. " I have been 
expecting to hear from her for some time, and have been 
greatly disappointed that I have not. The last letter I had 
stated that she Avould meet me here ; but for several months I 
have been unable to communicate with her, and am unable to 
even guess where she is, or why she has not come to me." 

He then raised up, and took the letter he referred to out of 
a package, evidently made up of my epistles, and read it to 
me. He also showed me a picture of myself, which he pro- 
duced from some hiding-place in his pocket, and handed it to 
me, saying, " That is the woman I love ; what do you "think 
of her ? " 

A Portrait and its Original. 

Tin's was almost too much for me ; and all trembling with 
emotion, I handed it back to him, saying, " She is a fine- 
looking woman ; " and wondering he did not observe the 
resemblance between the portrait and the original before him. 


" Yes," said he, " and she is just as good as she is good- 
looking. I think the world of her, and want to see her again 
— 0, so bad ! " 

" Have you known her long, captain ? " I asked, with a 
trembling voice, and scarcely daring to trust myself to speak, 
for these words, and the tender tone in which they were 
spoken, made my heart leap with joy, and brought tears to 
my eyes. I was afraid that he would notice my agitMion, and 
in some way surmise the cause of it ; and I did not want him 
to do this, for I was not yet ready to reveal myself, but 
desired further to hear what he would say about me before I 
told him my secret. So I turned away, and pretended to be 
attracted by some object in another part of the room while 
I wiped the tears from my eyes, and attempted to recover my 
composure before I confronted him again. 

" Yes," he went on, " I have known her for a long time. 
She is a widow, and her husband was an excellent friend of 
mine." Then, apparently suddenly recollecting the circum- 
stances under which he first made my acquaintance in the 
character of a Confederate oflScer, he said, glancing quickly 
and eagerly at me, '' Why, you ought to know her ; her hus- 
band was the first captain of our company ; you recollect him, 

" 0," said I, as if rather surprised at this revelation, '' she is 
his widow, is she ? " 

" Yes," said Captain De Caulp ; '^ you have met her, have 
you not ? " 

I could scarcely help smiling at the turn this conversation 
was taking ; and still wondering whether my lover would be 
shrewd enough to detect the likeness between the picture he 
was holding in his hand, and fondly gazing at, and the 
original of it who was sitting by his bedside, I said, " Yes, I 
have had a slight acquaintance with her, but you, probably, 
have known her longer than I have. When did you see her 

" I have not seen her for three years," he replied. 

" Have you been engaged to her that long?" 

" 0, no ; I did not become engaged to her until about six 
months after the death of her husband. He was killed, as j^ou 
know, at Pensacola, just after the war commenced, by the 
bursting of a carbine." 

" Well, if you have not seen her all that time, how have 
you managed to do your courting? " 

loye's confessions. 329 

" 0, that was easy enough. After her husband's death, we 
had some correspondence about the settlement of his affairs, 
and we kept on writing to each other after these were 
arranged. I always had a great liking for her, as 1 thought 
that she was a first-rate woman, of the kind that you don't 
meet every day ; and, consequently, after about six months, I 
asked her to marry me. She was a sound, sensible, patriotic 
woman, who admired me for going to the front more than she 
would have done had I remained at home to court her, and 
she accepted me without hesitation." 

The Pleasures of Courtship. 

" I understand the situation now, and I hope you have 
secured a prize. It seems to me, however, that it would be 
pleasant for both parties if you could do a little courting in 
person before you get married ; and if I were you, I would 
try and go to her." 

" I intend to go to her just as soon as I have health and 
strength to travel, for I feel that I must see her." 

" Yes," said I, " you ought to go for your own sake as well 
as for that of the lady. You have done enough hard fighting 
for the present, and you are entitled to take a rest." 

" I don't intend to leave the army permanently unless I am 
obliged to ; but, as you say, I need a rest, and I am deter- 
mined that I will go home and get married if it costs me my 
commission. I am now improving rapidly, and I trust that 
God Avill restore me to perfect health soon." 

'* What would you give," — and my voice was so choked 
with emotion that I could scarcely utter these words, — 
" What would you give if you could see your lady now ? " 

"0," said he, — and his eye sparkled, and the color flushed 
into his cheeks as he spoke, — " I would almost give my exist- 
ence in heaven." 

I could not bear to hear any more ; but dreading lest he 
should notice my agitation, and inquire the cause of it, I made 
a hasty excuse for concluding the interview, and saying good- 
by, left the room so abruptly that he must have seen there 
was something the matter with me. 

It would be foolish in me, in attempting to tell this story of 
the culmination of my strange courtship, to make a secret 
of the emotions that filled my breast at the results of tliis 
interview with Captain De Caulp. I felt that I loved him 


more thnn ever, and that he was more than worthy of me. I 
wept the first genuine womanly tears I had shed for many a 
day, but they were tears of joy, — of joy at the thought that 
I had such a lover as this, and that the day of our union was 
certainly not far distant. 

The next morning I wrote him a note in my proper person, 
stating that I had arrived, and was coming to see him. On 
the receipt of this he was nearly wild with excitement, and it 
was as much as Dr. Benton could do to keep him in his bed. 
Burning with anxiety to see what the effect upon him of the 
letter would be, I followed hard after the bearer, and waiting 
until he would have a fair opportunity to master its contents, 
I passed by the door in such a manner that he could not fail 
to see me. So soon as he caught sight of me, he called out, in 
an exultant tone, " Lieutenant, come in. I want to talk to 
you; " and holding out the note, which I had written but a few 
moments before, towards me, he said, with the happiest smile 
I ever saw on a human face, " She has come, — she has come, 
and will be here soon ; congratulate me, my friend." 

An agitating Occasion. 

I was greatly agitated, not only at the sight of his extreme 
happiness, but because I felt that the dreaded hour was now 
come when 1 must reveal my secret to him. I loved him most 
fondly ; and it was but yesterday that I had heard from his 
own lips assurances of his affection for me, the verity of which 
it was impossible for me to doubt ; and yet I dreaded whether 
his feelings towards me might not change when he heard my 
story. I felt that they ought not, and I did not believe that 
they would ; but I had heard so many men, and good men too, 
speak harshly with regard to women undertaking to play 
the role that I had, that my very love gave encouragement to 
my fears lest Captain De Caulp — when he learned I had been 
in the army ever since the outbreak of the war, and from 
before the date of our engagement, disguised as a man — • 
would regard my course with such disapproval that he would 
refuse to consider the motives which induced me to adopt 
the course I had taken. 

The situation was, for me, painful beyond expression ; and 
although I felt that the secret must now be told, I scarcely 
knew how to tell it, or how to begin an even ordinary friendly 
conversation with him. The disclosure which I was about to 


make was, moreover, one that was meant for no other cars 
than his, and was certainly not a proper one for the public 
ward of the hospital. My first care, therefore, was to get him 
to a place where we could converse without being overheard, 
and so I said, *' Captain, I congratulate you heartily, and I 
hope to have the pleasure of meeting with your lady. As you 
expect to have a visit from her soon, and as you will doubt- 
less want to talk over a great number of confidential matters, 
don't you think that it would be better if the doctor were to 
move you into a private room ? " 

He said, " Yes ; thank you for the suggestion ; that is just 
what I would like. I wish you would tell the doctor I want 
to see him." 

I accordingly conveyed his message Avith all possible de- 
spatch, and the doctor very cheerfully granted his request, and 
had him taken to a private chamber. A barber was then sent 
for, and he was shaved, and made to look as nicely as possible ; 
and it touched me deeply to notice what pains he took to 
make himself presentable, in view of the expected arrival of 
his lady-love, whom, by the anxious manner in which he 
glanced at the door, he was evidently looking for every 
minute, and almost dreading her arrival before he was ready 
to receive her. 

A Revelation to be made. 

So soon as we were alone together, I said gravely, " Now, 
captain, I have something of great importance to say to 
you before 3'our sweetheart comes." 

He looked at me wonderingly, evidently impressed by my 
manner, and apparently half fearing that something had oc- 
curred to defeat his expectations. 

I then knelt by the bedside, and taking from my pocket a 
picture of himself that he had sent me, and his last letter, 
said, "Did you ever see these before?" 

He glanced at them, recognized them, and turned deadly 
pale. His hand trembled so that he could scarcely hold the 
picture and the letter, and looking at me with a scared expres- 
sion, he gasped, " Yes, they are mine ! Where did you get 
them ? Has anything happened ? 

" No, no, captain," I exclaimed. " You must not be 
frightened ; nothing has happened that will be displeasing to 


" But I don't understand," he said ; " how did you get 
these ? " 

'' Ah ! " I said, " that is my secret just now. You know you 
told me last night, when you showed me the portrait of your 
lady, that you had not seen her for three years ; are you so 
very sure of that?" 

He still failed to comprehend what I meant, and stared at 
me in astonishment. I, therefore, went to his pocket, and got 
the picture, and, placing it in his hand, said, " Now take a good 
look at that, and tell me if you have not seen somebody very 
much like it inside of three years." 

He looked at the picture, and then at me, with a most puz- 
zled expression, unable to say anything, until I, oppressed with 
his silence, and unable to endure longer a scene that was be- 
coming most painful to both of us, said, " Well, captain, don't 
you tliink that the picture of your lady-love looks the least 
bit like your friend Harry Buford ? " 


A light seemed to suddenly break upon him ; he gasped for 
breath, and sank back overcome on his pillow, the great drops 
of perspiration standing out all over his forehead. Then, 
raising himself, he looked me hard in the face, and, grasping 
my hand tightly, exclaimed, " Can it be possible that you are 
she ? " 

" Yes," said I, clasping his hand still tighter, " I am, indeed, 
your own Loreta. It was your sweetheart who fought by your 
side at the great battle of Shiloh ; and not only on that occa- 
sion, but ever since the outbreak of the war she has been 
doing a soldier's work for the cause of the Confederacy. 
Can you love her a little for that as well as for herself? or 
will you despise her because she was not willing to stay at 
home like other women, but undertook to appear on the bat- 
tle-field in the guise of a man for the purpose of doing a man's 

'' I love you ten times more than ever for this, Loreta ! " 
he said, with a vehemence that brought tears of joy to my 

I then went into a long explanation of my reasons for acting 
as I had done, and gave him an outline of my adventures, re- 
serving the details for a future time when he would be stronger 
and less agitated. He suggested that I sjiould not reveal the 


secret to any one else just at present ; whereupon I proposed 
that Avo slioukl continue as wo Avere until the war was over, 
I to make such arrangements, however, as would enable me to 
be near him. He Avould not listen to anything of this kind, but 
said, " No, my noble lady, I can never permit that; I cannot 
consent to part from you again until I have called you by the 
endearing name of wife." He then burst into _ tears, and, 
leaning his fi\ce on my shoulder, said, between his sobs, " 0, 
Loreta, can it be possible that you have been so far from me, 
and yet so near to me, all this time ? " 

This intervicAv had agitated both of us greatly, and, as 
Captain Do Caulp Avas still very Aveak, I was somcAvhat fearful 
of the consequences to him ; so I tore myself away, after prom- 
ising to see him again soon, and requesting him to compose 
himself, and not let his excitement retard his recovery. 

The crisis Avas past for me, and all was well. I had the 
strongest assurances that a AA^oman could have of the undivided 
love of as noble a man as ever breathed ; and to say that I Avas 
supremely happy, but faintly expresses Avhat I felt as I left the 
chamber of Captain De Caulp. It all seemed like a dream to 
me, but it was a happy one, and I desired never to awaken 
from it. I was of too practical and decided a disposition, how- 
ever, to give Avay to mere sentiment on such an occasion as 
this ; and the fact that my lover Avas still confined to a sick- 
bed rendered it the more important that I should be about, 
and making such preparations as Avere necessary for our ap- 
proaching marriage. 

I felt quite strong enough to leave the hospital, and told 
Dr. Hay so. He Avas a little dubious about it; but finally con- 
sented that I should go out on condition that I would take 
good care of myself, and not attempt to enjoy out-of-door life 
too much of a sudden. As he Avas himself about going out 
as I Avas prepared to leave the hospital, I walked doAvn the 
street Avith him, holding his arm. As we Avere sauntering 
along, I asked him, '^ Doctor, hoAV do you like Captain De 

"0, very much, indeed!" said he. "He is a perfect 
gentleman in every respect, and a man of very polished 
manners and superior talents. He is of foreign extraction, I 

" Yes," said I, " I believe he is. I have known him for five 
years, and I think a great deal of him. I was Avith him at the 
battle of Shiloh, and he behaved like a true hero.i' 


" Ah, indeed ! " said the doctor ; " I knew that you were 
acquainted, but I did not know that you had served together 
during the war." 

"Do you think he will soon be well?" I inquired. "He 
seems to be getting along quite nicely." 

" 0, yes, if he takes proper care of himself He has had a 
pretty hard time of it, but I don't see any reason why he 
should not be in a fair way for recovery now^ provided 
nothing occurs to set him back. He will have to look out, 
and not expose himself too much, however, for a while 

At the corner of White Hall Street I left the doctor to go 
to the depot. He said, as I parted from him, " You must be 
careful, and not exercise too much, lieutenant, or you will 
suffer for it. You are scarcely fairly on your feet as yet." 
, I promised to take care of myself, and went to the depot, 
arriving there just as the down train was coming in. I met a 
number of persons with whom I was acquainted, and after 
some conversation with them, took a turn as far as General 
Wash. Lee's office, where I had a chat about the way things 
were going at the front. I then returned to the hospital, and 
asked for my discharge. This was granted me, and I also 
obtained a ticket to go to Montgomery, where I had some 
business to attend to. 

On my arrival at Montgomery, I found that the person I 
wanted to see was at Camp Watts. I accordingly went 
there ; and having seen him, arranged the business I had 
made the trip for, and then returned to Montgomery, where 
I remained all night. The next day I returned to Atlanta, 
and went immediately to the hospital to visit Captain De 
Caulp. To my great joy I found him out of bed, and so much 
improved that he was confident of being well enough to 
walk out. 

We, therefore, went down to the Thompson House together, 
and I engaged a room, and set about making preparations for 
my marriage. 

I was anxious that the affair should pass off" as quietly as pos- 
sible, and particularly desired not to give any opportunity for 
unseemly gossip or talk ; and on discussing the matter with 
Captain De Caulp, we came to the conclusion that it would 
be better to tell the whole story to Drs. Benton and Ham- 
mond, and to ask them to witness the ceremony, under a 
promise to gay nothing to any one about the fact of my hav- 


ing worn the uniform of a Confederate officer. "We, how- 
ever, resolved to take no one else into our confidence, 
although there were several good friends of both of us in 
the town, whom we would have been glad to have had at our 

I procured a sufficiency of woman's apparel for my wedding 
outfit, by purchasing at a variety of places, under the pleas 
that I wanted the garments for some persons out of town, or 
for presents to the girls at the hotel — in fact, making up 
whatever story I thought would answer my purpose. My 
trousseau was, perhaps, not so complete or so elegant as it 
might have been under some circumstances, or as I could have 
desired ; but then, the particular circumstances under which 
the wedding was to take place were peculiar, and neither the 
bridegroom nor the bride was disposed to be over ceremo- 
nious, or to make much ado about trifles. So long as the 
captain and myself were satisfied, it did not much matter 
whether any one else was pleased or not; and we both con- 
cluded that a very modest wardrobe would bo all that I would 
need, the main thing being that I should be dressed as a 
woman when the ceremony took place, for fear of creating too 
niuoh of a sensation, and, perhaps, of making the clergyman 
feel unpleasant should I appear before him, hanging on the 
captain's arm, in my uniform. 

My arrangements having all been made, we concluded to 
inform the friends whom we had agreed to invite ; and ac- 
cordingly we walked to the hospital together, wdien the cap- 
tain called Dr. Benton into his private room, and astonished 
him by telling him that he was going to be married, and by 
asking him to attend the wedding. I broke the news as 
gently as I could to Dr. Hammond, who scarcely knew what to 
make of it at first, but who, when I made him clearly under- 
stand the situation, gave mo his hearty congratulations, and 
promised to be present when the happy event came off. 

A Wedding. 

The next day Captain De Caulp and I were married in the 
parlor of the hotel by the Rev. Mr. Pinkington, the post chap- 
lain, in as quiet and unpretentious a way as either of us could 
desire. The clergyman and our kind friends wished us all 
manner of happiness ; and we both looked forward to a bright 
future, when, after the war was over, we could settle down in 


our home, and enjoy the blessings of peace in each other's 
society. Alas ! if wishes could only make us happy, there 
would be but little misery in this world of ours. Neither 
Captain De Caulp nor myself, as we stood up that day, and 
pronounced the words that made us man and wife, had any but 
pleasant anticipations for the future, and little imagined how 
brief a time we would be permitted to be together. 

I was very desirous of resuming my uniform, and of accom- 
panying my husband to the field. I wanted to go tlirough the 
war with him, and to fight by his side, just as I had done at 
Shiloh. He, however, was bitterly opposed to this ; and, with 
my ample knowledge of army life, I could not but admit the 
full force of his objections. He contended, that, apart from 
everything else, I had served my country long enough as a 
soldier, and that I was under some obligation now to think of 
him as well as of myself, and no longer to peril life, health, 
and reputation by exposing myself, as I had been doing. 
He said that he would fight twice as hard as before, and that 
would answer for both of us, although he was not sure but 
that what I had done ought to count in his favor, — as man 
and wife were one, — and procure him a release from further 

I very reluctantly yielded an assent to his wishes, although, 
if I could have looked a little into the future, I either would 
have prevented his going to the front at all, or else would have 
insisted upon going with him. Indeed, he ought not to have 
gone when he did ; but he knew that the services of every 
man were needed, and so soon as he was at all able to be 
on duty, he felt as if he was shirking his share of the work 
by remaining at the rear when so much hard fighting was 
going on. 

Our honeymoon was a very brief one. In about a week he 
thought himself well enough to report for duty ; and he insisted 
upon going, notwithstanding my entreaties for him to remain 
until his health was more robust. Had he been really fit to 
endure the exposure and toil of campaigning, I would never 
have offered to stay him by a word ; for my patriotism, although 
perhaps not of so fiery a nature, was as intense now as it was 
when I besought my first husband to permit me to accompany 
him to the field ; and I considered it the duty of every man, 
who was at all able to take a hand in the great work of resist- 
ing the advance of the enemy, to do so. But Captain De 
Caulp, I knew, was far from being the strongman he once was, 






and I feared the consequences should he persist in carrying 
out liis resolve. 

Ho did persist, however, in spite of all I could say ; and so, 
when I found that further argument would be useless, I pre- 
pared his baggage, and bade him a sorrowful adieu. Alas ! 
the adieu was a final one, for I never saw him afterwards ; and 
within three short weeks of my marriage, I was a widow 
again ! 

Death op my Husband. 

Before reaching his command, Captain De Caulp was taken 
sick again ; and before I obtained any information of his con- 
dition, he had died in a Federal hospital in Chattanooga. This 
was a terrible blow to me, for I tenderly loved my husband, 
and was greatly beloved by him. Our short married life Avas 
a very happy one, and its sudden ending brought to nought 
all the pleasant plans I had formed for the future, and left me 
nothing to do but to launch once more on a life of adventure, 
and to devote my energies to the advancement of the Confed- 
erate cause. 

Captain De Caulp was a native of Edinburgh, Scotland. 
His father was of French descent, and his mother was a Der- 
byshire woman. He was very highly educated, having studied 
in England and France with the intention of becoming a phy- 
sician. His fondness for roaming, however, induced him to 
abandon tliis design; and in 1857 he and his brother came to 
this country, and travelled over the greater part of it until 1859. 
In the last-named year he joined the United States army, but 
on the breaking out of the war, he came South, and offered his 
services to the Confederacy. From first to last he fought nobly 
for the cause which he espoused, and he died in the firm be- 
lief tliat the Southern States would ultimately gain their inde- 

Few more honorable, or truer, or braver, men than Cap- 
tain De Caulp have ever lived. He was tall in stature, with 
a very imposing presence. His hair was auburn, and he had 
a large, full, dark, hazel eye. He was a very powerful man, but 
as gentle as a child, and exceedingly affable in his disposition, 
and remarkably prepossessing in his manners. At the time 
of his death he was about twenty-nine years of age. I made 
an endeavor to procure his body for the purpose of sending it 
to his relatives in Scotland, in accordance with his last request ; 
but, owing to the exigencies of the military situation, — the 

eetiy::urg college | 

I Gettysburg. Pa. j 
I - LinRARY - 4 


Federals being in possession of Chattanooga, — I was unable 
to do so. 

Captain De Caulp's brother was also in the Southern army, 
and also held the rank of captain. He died in Nashville just 
after the close of the war, leaving a wife, who died in New 



Altered Circumstances. — The Result of two Years and a half Experience 
in Warfare. — The Difference between the Emotions of a raw Recruit 
and a Veteran. — Difficulties in the Way of deciding what Course it was 
best to pursue for the Future. — I resolve to go to Richmond in Search 
of active Employment of some Kind. — The military Situation in the 
Autumn of 1863. —Concentration of the Armies at Richmond and Chat- 
tanooga. — Richmond safe from Capture. — The Results of the Battle 
of Chickamauga. — Rosecrans penned up in Chattanooga by Bragg. — 
The Pinch of the Fight approaching. — Hopes of foreign Intervention. 
— An apparently encouraging Condition of Affairs. — I go to Richmond, 
and have Interviews with President Davis and General Winder. — I am 
furnished by the latter with a Letter of Recommendation, and start on a 
grand Tour through the Confederacy. — Arrival at Mobile, and meeting 
with old Army Friends. 

I HEN, under the influence of the grief 
caused by the sudden death of my second 
husband, within so brief a period after 
our marriage, I felt impelled to devote 
Trayself anew to the task of advancing the cause of 
the Confederacy by all the means in my power, the 
circumstances were all materially different from what 
they were when, the first time I was made a widow, I 
started for Virginia, full of the idea of taking part in 
whatever fighting was to be done. It was no longer 
possible for me to figure as successfully in the character of 
a soldier as I had done. My secret was now known to a 
great many persons, and its discovery had already caused me 
such annoyance that I hesitated about assuming my uniform 
again, especially as I believed that, as a woman, I could per- 
form very efficient service if I were only aflforded proper 

At the time of my first husband's death, I was full of an idea 
which had filled my brain ever since I could remember, and 



was bent upon accomplishing it at all hazards. I had attired 
m3'self in the uniform of an officer, had enlisted a large body 
of men by my own unaided exertions, had marched them from 
Arkansas to Pensacola, and was firmly resolved to see some 
fighting, and to win some military glory, if any was to be 
won. My desire was that ray husband should command the 
battalion I had raised, and should permit me to serve with 
him. His death, however, frustrated my plans, and threw me 
on my own resources. I was then inspired, not oiily with a 
desire to win personal distinction, but to avenge him ; and I 
started for the front with the vaguest possible idea concern- 
ing what warfare really was, or what I was to do. My main 
thought, however, was to see a battle, and to take part in one. 
I had been reading all my life about heroic deeds, and dream- 
ing day and night about the achievement of glory, and was, 
perhaps, more impressed with the notion of becoming a second 
Joan of Arc than anything else. 

After nearly two years and a half experience of warfare, 
these early ideas, when I reflected upon the hap-hazard man- 
ner in which I had started out, appeared ludicrous enough in 
some of their aspects, and yet I would have given a great deal 
could I have been impressed with some of my original en- 
thusiasm, when, a second time a widow, I made up my mind 
again to take part, in some shape, in the great conflict which 
was yet far from its close. 

The Lessons of Experience. 

I had seen enough of fighting, enough of marching, enough 
of camp life, enough of prisons and hospitals, and I had 
passed through enough peril and suffering to satisy any rea- 
sonable human being. These experiences, however, while 
they had made me weary of war, would also, I well knew, 
especially qualify me to perform any work I might undertake 
in a most satisfactory manner, and would render my services 
much more valuable than they could have been in the early 
days of the contest. It was a feverish desire to be in motion, 
to be doing something, to have occupation for mind and body, 
such as would prevent me from dwelling on my griefs, more 
than any ambitious designs or aspirations for personal distinc- 
tions, that now impelled me to seek for employment in some 
shape, under the Confederate government, which would enable 
me to do something further to advance the interest of the 


cause to wliich I had already given myself, heart and soul, 
during more than two of the best years of my life. 

That I did not feel exactly the same enthusiasm now that I 
did in the spring of 1861, was due, not to any feeling of cold- 
ness towards the cause, nor to any lack of disposition to do 
anything in my power to win the final victory, which I still 
hoped, in spite of every discouragement, would crown our 
efforts, but to circumstances which every veteran soldier will 
appreciate. These circumstances were the more potent in 
my case from the fact that I was a woman, and in endeavoring 
to carry out my notions with regard to the best way of making 
my services of the utmost value, was consequently hampered 
in many ways that men were not. For having dared to 
assume a man's garb, for the purpose of doing a man's work, I 
had been treated with contumely, on more than one occasion, 
by those who ought at least to have given me credit for my 
intentions, and although my comrades of the camp and the 
battle-field — or at least all of them whose good opinion was 
worth having — esteemed me for w^hat I had done, and for what 
I tried to do, bestowing ample praise upon me for my valor and 
eflBciency as a soldier, I was getting out of the notion of sub- 
jecting myself to the liabilit}^ of being locked up by every local 
magistrate within whose jurisdiction I happened to find myself, 
simply because I did not elect to dress according to his 
notions of propriety. 

A Perplexing Situation. 

I was a little dubious, therefore, with regard to what course 
it was best for me to pursue, especially as, apart from all other 
considerations, my health was not so robust as it had been, 
and my husband's fate was a warning to me not to expose 
myself as I had been in the habit of doing, at least until I had 
full}'' regained my strength. On reviewing the whole subject 
in my mind, I became more than ever convinced that the 
secret service rather than the army would afford me the best 
field for the exercise of my talent, although I almost more 
than half made up my mind to enter the army again, and try 
my luck, as I had originally done, disguised as an officer, in 
case I found it impossible to become attached to the secret 
service department in the manner I wished. 

I finally concluded that the best thing for me to do was to 
go to Richmond, and if nothing else availed, to make a per- 


sonal appeal to President Davis, feeling assured that when he 
heard my story he would appreciate the motives which ani- 
mated me, and would use his influence to have me assigned to 
such duty as I was best qualified to perform in a satisfactory 
manner. This resolve having once been made, I prepared, 
without more delay, to visit the capital of the Confederacy, 
leaving behind me Atlanta, with its mingled memories of 
pleasure and pain. 

The Progress of the War. 

The military situation at this time — the autumn of 1863 — 
was of painful interest, and the fate of the Confederacy seemed 
to hang trembling in the balance. In Virginia, General Lee 
was defending Richmond with all his old success, and was 
holding one immense army in check so effectively that the 
prospect of ever entering the Confederate capital as conquerors 
must have seemed to the enemy more remote than ever. In 
the West and South, however, the Confederates had lost much, 
and the question noAv with them was, whether they would be 
able to hold what they had until the Federals were tired out 
and exhausted, or until England and France, wearied of the 
prolonged contest, consented to aid in terminating it by 
recognizing the Confederacy, and perhaps by armed inter- 

It was known that there were dissensions at the North, and 
that there was a strong anti-war party, which it was ex- 
pected would, ere long, make its power felt as it had never 
done before ; and if the South could hold out for a season 
longer, would insist upon a peace being concluded upon almost 
any terms. Great expectations were also built upon foreign 
intervention, which every one felt had been delayed longer 
than there was any just reason for, but which it was thought 
could not but take place shortly. Every little while exciting 
rumors were set afloat, no one knew how or by whom, that 
either France or England had recognized the Confederacy, 
and many bitter disappointments were caused when their 
falsity was proved. The people, however, hoped on, getting 
poorer and poorer every day, and eagerly watching the prog- 
ress of the campaign around Chattanooga. 

The Mississippi River was now entirely in the hands of the 
Federals, and not only were the trans-Mississippi states, as far 
as any effective military or political co-operation was con- 


cerned, lost to the Confederacy, but the question now was 
whether tlie war was not to be transferred from tlio ground 
west of the mountains to the rich fields of Georgia. Bragg 
had been compelled to fall back with most of his forces to 
Chattanooga, and had been expelled from that place, which was 
now in the hands of the Federals. All efforts on the part of 
the Federals to advance beyond Chattanooga, however, had 
utterly failed, and the opinion, at the time of which I am 
writing, was gaining ground that they had been caught in a 
trap, and would, in a short time, be incapable of either ad- 
vancing or retreating. 

While I was in the hospital, Bragg gained his great victory at 
Chickamauga, and great hopes were excited that he would be 
able to follow it up with effect, and succeed in destroying the 
army of Rosecrans. Had he succeeded in doing this, the war 
would have had a different ending, and the independence of 
the South would have been secured. It was felt by every- 
body that the pinch of the fight was approaching, and that in 
the neighborhood of Chattanooga, rather than in that of Rich- 
mond, would the decisive battle of the war be fought, and, it 
was hoped, won for the Confederacy. 

It was at Richmond and at Chattanooga that the Contending 
forces were massed, although there was plenty of fighting 
going on elsewhere, and some of these minor campaigns were 
of great importance in their influence on the fortunes of the 
war, and did much to enable the Confederacy to prolong the 
contest for nearly eighteen months. 

Much as we had lost, the situation was not an altogether 
discouraging one for the Confederacy. Richmond was appar- 
ently more secure than it had been two years and a half 
before, and nearly all the honors of the war in that vicinity 
had been carried off by the Confederates. Lee was making 
himself a name as one of the greatest generals of the age, 
while the Federals, although they changed the commanders 
of their army continually, were making no headway against 
him, and were in constant fear of an invasion of their own ter- 
ritory. In the South, Bragg had just achieved a great victory 
over Rosecrans, and had him now penned up in Chattanooga, 
from which it was next to impossible for him to escape in 
either direction, and to keep him there, and either fight him or 
starve him into surrendering before suflScient re-enforcement 
to enable him to assume the offensive, was the task the Con- 
federate army had before it. 


Well, matters did not turn out as it was expected they 
would. Bragg's victory at Chickamauga was a fruitless one, 
except so far as it delayed the Federal advance from Chatta- 
nooga, and the army of Rosecrans was neither starved nor 
beaten into subjection. On the contrary, Rosecrans was 
superseded, and Grant was put in his place, to follow up the 
victories he had won at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and Vicksburg ; 
and the army was so greatly re-enforced that it was enabled 
to press forward and menace Atlanta, and finally to capture 
it. The results of that capture are well known. 

Off for Richmond Again. 

The capture of Atlanta, however, was a long way off when 
I started for Richmond for the purpose of making a definite 
offer of my services to the Confederate authorities there, and 
was apparently as little likely to occur as was that of Rich- 
mond. Bad as the condition of things, in many particulars, 
was, I was in a more hopeful frame of mind than I had been 
for a long time, and I was anxious to labor, as I felt that I was 
able to labor, in behalf of the cause. 

Had I then known as much as I knew not a great while 
after, I would not have put myself to the trouble of going to 
Richmond for the purpose of asking for work, but would at 
once have executed the project which I had frequently con- 
templated, and which I had more than once been on the point 
of carrying into effect, and would have gone directly north, 
and have put myself in communication with, the friends, sym-. 
pathizers, and agents of the Confederacy there. This was the 
true field for me to operate in, although I had no idea, at this 
time, what opportunities a residence at the North would give 
me lor aiding the cause in a most efficient manner. It was 
chance rather than design that finally took me within the 
jurisdiction of the Federal government, and enabled me to do 
more to bafile its efforts to crush the Confederacy by my opei^a- 
tions in the rear of its armies in one year, than I had been able 
to do in three while endeavoring to fight them face to face. 

Interviews with President Davis and General Winder. 

With only the most indefinite plans for the future, and little 
suspecting what exciting and perilous adventures fate yet had 
in store for me, I proceeded, on my arrival in Richmond, to call 


on General Winder, and took measures to procure an interview 
with President Davis. From General Winder I did not obtain 
much satisfaction ; and Mr. Davis, while he was very kind to 
me, did not give me a great deal of encouragement. I repre- 
sented to President Davis that I had been working hard for 
the Confederacy, both as a soldier and a spy, and that I had 
braved death on more than one desperately fought battle-field 
while acting as an independent, and that now I thought I was 
deserving of some official recognition. Moreover, I had lost 
my husband through his devotion to the cause, and, both for 
his sake and for my own, I desired that the government would 
give me such a position in the secret service corps or else- 
where as would enable me to carry on Avith the best effect the 
work that he and I had begun. 

Mr. Davis was opposed to permitting me to serve in the 
army as an officer, attired in male costume, while he had no 
duties to which he could properly assign me as a woman. I 
left his presence, not ungratified by the kindness of his man- 
ner towards me, and the sympathy which he expressed for my 
bereavement, but none the less much disappointed at the non- 
success of my interview with him. 

Failing to obtain any satisfaction from Mr. Davis, I returned 
to General Winder, but got comparatively little encourage- 
ment from him. He finally, however, consented to give me a 
letter of recommendation to the commanding officer of tlie 
forces in the South and West, and transportation. This was 
not exactly what I wanted, but it was better than nothing; 
and I thought that, armed with such a letter, I could scarcely 
fail to accomplish something that would be satisfactory to 
myself, and of value to the cause. 

On another Grand Tour. 

Having obtained this important document I started off, and, 
for the last time, made a grand tour of the entire Southern 
Confederacy. Stopping from point to point, I gathered all the 
information I could, and thoroughly posted myself with regard 
to the situation, — military, civil, and political, — and endeav- 
ored to find a place where I could commence active operations 
with the best chance of achieving something of importance. 

I, however, during the course of a long journey, failed to 
meet with the grand opportunity I sighed for, and met with 
no adventure worthy of particular record, until finally I reached 


Mobile — a citj I had not visited since I marched through it in 
1861 at tlie head of my gallant battalion of Arkansas Grays. 

On arriving at Mobile, I took up my quarters at the Battle 
House, with the intention of taking a good rest, for I was 
weary with much travel, and, if possible, of arranging some 
definite plan of action for the future. I was resolved now to 
make a bold stroke of some kind, and on my own responsibility 
if necessary, trusting that my usual good luck would accom- 
pany me in any enterprise I might undertake. 

In Mobile I met quite a number of officers whom I had met 
on the various battle-fields where I had figured, and received 
the kindest and best attentions from them all. This was most 
gratifying to me; and the flattering commendations that were 
bestowed upon me served to mitigate in a great degree the 
disappointment I felt on account of the non-recognition of the 
value of my services in other quarters. 

I may as well say here, that in mentioning the disappoint- 
ments I have felt at different times at not being able to obtain 
exactly the kind of official recognition I desired, I do not wish 
to appear as complaining. That I did feel disappointed, is 
true ; but reflection told me that if any one was to blame it 
was myself. By entering the army as an independent, I 
secured a freedom of action and opportunities for participa- 
ting in a great variety of adventures that I otherwise would not 
have had, but I also cut myself off from opportunities of reg- 
ular promotion. When I resolved to start out as an indepen- 
dent, I was animated by a variety of motives, not the least of 
which was, that I believed I would be able to maintain my dis- 
guise to better advantage, and would have better opportunities 
for escaping any unpleasant consequences in case of detection 
than if I attached myself regularly to a command. I was right 
in this, and am now convinced that, on the whole, the course I 
pursued was the wisest one. 

Not having been attached to a regular command, at least for 
any great length of time, it was impossible for me, however, 
to secure that standing with those who were best able to 
reward my services that was necessary, while the full value 
of my services could only be made known by my taking a 
number of people into my confidence, and this I had great 
objections to doing. As matters turned out, the peculiar 
experiences through which I passed, during the first two 
years of the war, were of the utmost value to me in a great 
many ways in the prosecution of the very important work in 


which I subsequently engaged; and I consequently had no cause 
for regret at having followed the lino of action I did. At the 
time of which I am writing, liowever, I could not know what 
the future would bring forth ; and although, without being 
aware of it, I was about to enter upon a series of enterprises 
of great moment, all my plans seemed to have gone amiss, 
and I certcvinly was not in the most pleasant state of mind 

In writing this narrative, it has seemed to me that the only 
proper method is to represent events as they actually occurred, 
and to record the impressions they made upon me at the time 
of occurrence, and not as they were colored by subsequent 
developments. My ideas and feelings under particular cir- 
cumstances are as much a part of my story as the narrative 
of actual events, for my proceedings were guided and influ- 
enced by them ; and this would scarcely be a fair record of 
my career while in the Confederate service did I not make 
some mention of them. 



I receive a mysterious Note requestino^ me to meet the Writer. — I go 
to the appointed Place, and find an Officer of the Secret Service Corps 
who wants me to go through the Lines with Despatches. — I accept 
the Commission, and the next Day go to Meridian for the Purpose of 
completing my Arrangement and receiving my Instructions. — A Visit 
to General Ferguson's Headquarters. — Final Instructions from the 
General, who presents me with a Pistol. — I start for the Federal 
Lines, and ride all Night and all the next Day. — A rough and toilsome 
Journey. — I spend the Night in a Negro's Cabin. — Off again at three 
o'clock in the Morning with an old Negro Man for a Guide. — We 
reach the Neighborhood of the Federal Pickets, and I send my Guide 
back. — I bury m.y Pistol in a Church. — I am halted by a Picket- 
guard and am taken to Moscow. — A Cross-examination by the Colonel 
in Command. — Satisfactory Result for myself. — On the Train for 
Memphis. — Insulting Remarks from the Soldiers. — A Major inter- 
feres for my Protection. — Off for General Washburn's Headquarters. 

HORTLY after my arrival at Mobile, I received 
a rather mysterious note in a masculine hand, 
asking me to meet the writer that evening at 
the corner of the square, but giving no hint 
whatever of the purpose of the invitation. I 
hesitated for some little time about taking any no- 
tice of the request, thinking that if the writer had 
any real business with me, he would seek me out and 
communicate with me in a some less mysterious way. 
On a little reflection, however, I concluded that it 
would be best for me to meet the gentleman, whoever he 
might be, according to the terms of his invitation, and to 
find out who he was and what he wanted. I felt tol- 
erably well able to take care of myself, although I was 
aware that the circumstances of my army career being rather 
extensively known, I was especially liable to annoyances of a 
peculiarly unpleasant kind from impertinent people. Any- 
thing of this sort I was resolved to resent in such a manner that 



the offender would have occasion to beware of me in the 

The fact, liowcvcr, tliat I was traveUing under credentials 
from General Winder, and Avas in a manner an attache' of the 
Secret Service Department, rendered it not improbable that 
this was an application for me to undertake some such enter- 
prise as I for a long time had been ardently desirous of 
engaging in. The more I considered the matter, the more I 
was disposed to take this view of it, and accordingly, at the 
hour named, I was promptly at the rendezvous, wondering 
what the result of the adventure would be. 

A Mysterious Conference. 

My surmise proved to be correct. I had scarcely arrived 
at the corner of the square, when my correspondent, who I 
discovered was Lieutenant Shorter, of Arkansas, advanced 
towards me, and said, " Good evening. I am glad to see you. 
How have you been ? " 

" I am quite well," I replied ; and waited for him to intro- 
duce the subject concerning which he was evidently desirous 
of conversing with me. 

After a few inconsequential remarks on either side, he said, 
" I see that you received my note." 

" Yes." 

" Well, you must excuse me for asking for a secret interview 
like this, but the matter I wanted to talk to you about is of 
great importance, and, as in these times, we don't know whom 
to trust, it was necessary that I should have an opportunity to 
carry on our conversation without danger of being watched 
or overheard. You have had considerable experience in run- 
ning through the lines, and in spy and secret service duty, have 
you not? " 

" Yes," I replied ; " I have done something in that line." 

'' You have usually been tolerably lucky, haven't you ? " 

" Yes, I have had reasonably good luck. I got caught once 
in New Orleans, but that was because the parties to whom I 
had delivered my despatches were captured. Butler tried his 
hand at frightening me, but he did not succeed very well, and 
I managed to slip away from him before he had any positive 
evidence against me which would have justified him in treat- 
ing me as a spy." 

" Well, you're just the kind I want, for I have a job on hand 


that will require both skill and nerve, and I would like you to 
undertake it, especially as you seem to have a talent for dis- 
guising yourself." 

I concluded that I would find out exactly what he wanted 
me to do, before I gave him any satisfaction ; so I said, 
'' What kind of a job is it ? I have risked my neck pretty 
often without getting very many thanks for it, and I don't 
know that I care a great deal about running all kinds of risks 
for little glory, and no more substantial reward." 

" 0, come, now," said he, " you must not talk that way. 
Now is the very time that your services will be worth some- 
thing ; and this bit of business that I am anxious for you to 
undertake, is of such a nature, that it would not do to give it 
to any but a first-rate hand." 

" Well, what is it ? When I know what you want me to do, 
I will be better able to say whether it would be worth my 
while to do it." 

" Wouldn't you like to take a trip through the lines ? " 
said the lieutenant. 

" That depends," said I. " What do you want me to make 
the trip for ? " 

" I will tell you that, when you tell me whether you 
will go." 

I considered a moment, and then said, " Yes, I will go, if 
it is for anything to serve the cause." 

" That's the way to talk," said he. " I am in the secret 
service, and I want you to take a despatch through the lines 
and give it to a certain party. It will be a big thing if you 
succeed, as I think you will, or I wouldn't have picked you 
out for the business." 

" Well," said I, " I will make an effort, and do my best to 

" 0, you must succeed," said the lieutenant ; " for there will 
be the devil to pay if the Feds discover what you are up to, 
and you will have to do your prettiest to prevent them from 
even suspecting that you are up to any unlawful tricks." 

" I'll do my best, and I can't do any more than that ; but as 
I have fooled them before, so I guess I can again." 

" Well," said he, " that's all right. Now, what I want you 
to do is, to meet me to-morrow evening at Meridian, I will 
have everything ready for you, and will give you your instruc- 
tions, and you be prepared for a hard journey. In the mean 
time, keep quiet, and don't whisper a word to anybody." 


We tlicn said good night and parted, I going hack to the 
hotel to do a heap of thinking before I went to sleep. Lieu- 
tenant Shorter, beyond saying that I was to go throiigli the 
lines, and endeavoring to impress upon me the great importance 
of the enterprise, had given me no hint of where I was to go, 
or what the exact nature of my errand would be, and I con- 
sequently had to depend upon myself in making such prepara- 
tions as were necessary. Having considered the subject as 
well as I was able, I concluded to procure a very phiin suit 
of woman's clothing, and to make up a small bundle of such 
few extra articles besides those upon my back, as I tliought I 
would require. My arrangements having been all made, I 
started for Meridian the next day, and on my arrival at that 
place found Lieutenant Shorter waiting for me at the depot. 
Under his escort I went to the hotel kept by a Mr. Jones, and 
was received with great cordiality by him and by his wife. 
The lady especiall}' was most attentive to me, and did every- • 
thing in her power to make me comfortable. 

I appreciated her kind attentions the more highly as I was 
far from being well, and felt that I was scarcely doing either 
myself or the others interested justice in undertaking such 
an enterprise, under a strong liability that I might be taken 
seriously sick before concluding it. I had a great deal of 
confidence, however, in my power of will, and having promised 
Lieutenant Shorter that I would go, I was determined to do 
so, especially as he represented the business as being most 

What I was to do. 

Having obtained a room where we could converse privately, 
the lieutenant proceeded to explain what he wanted me to do, 
and to give me directions for proceeding. He said that he 
had captured a spy belonging to the Federal General Hurl- 
but's command, and had taken from him a paper containing 
quite accurate accounts of the forces of Chalmers, Forrest, 
Richardson, and Ferguson, and their movements. This he 
had changed so that it would throw the enemy on the wrong 
scent, and I Avas to take it to Memphis and deliver it to the 
Federal General Washburn, telling him such a story as would 
induce him to believe that I had obtained it from the spy. 
He also had a despatch for Forrest, which he wanted me to 
carry to the Confederate secret agent in Memphis, telling me 
where to find him, describing him so that I would know him, 


and giving me the password which would enable me to com- 
municate with him without difficulty. 

'^ Now," said Shorter, when he had finished all his explana- 
tions, " you see that you will have to keep your wits about 
you, for if you let the Feds get their fingers on these papers 
it will be all up with you. When you reach Memphis, deliver 
this bogus account of the movement of our troops to General 
Washburn immediately, and .get him and liis people well 
impressed with the idea that you are on their side ; then, at 
the earliest possible moment, give this despatch for Forrest 
to our agent. I will know by the success of the movement 
that Forrest is to make whether you are successful or not." 

After some further conversation about the best plan of 
proceeding, and further explanations about what I should do, 
Lieutenant Shorter suggested some changes in my dress, his 
idea being, that I should personate a poor countrywoman, 
•who had lost her husband at the outbreak of the war, and who 
was flying into the Federal lines for protection. He also gave 
me letters to the different Confederate commanders whom I 
would meet on my road, directing them to assist me, and put 
in my hand the sum of one hundred and thirty-six dollars in 
greenbacks which had been taken from the captured spy. 
This, he thought, would see me through, but in case it should 
not prove sufficient, he said, that if I made my wants known, 
any commanding officer I met would supply me with funds, 
and that after I reached Memphis I would find plenty of 
friends of the Confederacy upon whom I could call for 

Everything being in readiness for my journey, the next 
morning 1 took the train for Okolona, where, procuring a pass 
from Captain Mariotta, the provost marshal, I hired a convey- 
ance, and drove to the headquarters of General Ferguson. 
On showing my order for assistance to the general, he received 
me with the greatest politeness, and invited me into his 
quarters, where he gave me some information and additional 
instructions, and reiterated Lieutenant Shorter's cautions to 
be vigilant and careful, as I was on a mission of great 

The general then handed me ninety dollars, and presented 
me with a pistol, which he said was one of a pair he had 
carried through the war. The money he was sure I would 
need, and the pistol might be a handy thing to have in case I 
should be compelled to defend myself, for my journey would 


taTxG mo through a rough country, and I might chance to meet 
with stragglers who would give me trouble. He advised me, 
however, not to use the weapon except in case of absolute 
necessity, and especially not to carry it with me into the 
Federal lines, for if it was discovered that I had it about me, 
it might excite suspicions that I was a spy, when such a thing 
would not otherwise be thought of. 

A fine horse having been provided for me, I said adieu to 
General Ferguson, who wished me good luck, and started off 
with an escort who was to conduct me to a point somewhere 
to the north-east of Holly Springs, from whence I would have 
to make m}^ way alone, getting into the Federal lines as best 
I could. 

A Rough Journey. 

In spite of the fact that I was quite sick, and sometimes 
felt that I could scarcely sit upon my horse, I rode all that 
night and nearly all the next day, through lonesome wooda, 
past desolate clearings, — occupied, if at all, by poor negroes, 
or even poorer whites, all of whom had a half-terrified look, as 
if they were expecting every moment to have a rapacious 
soldiery come tramping through their little patches of ground, 
and appropriating whatever v/as eatable or worth taking, — 
through gullies and ravines, and over the roughest kind of 
roads, or sometimes no roads at all. At length we reached a 
negro's cabin, which, although it was but a poor shelter, was 
better than nothing at all, and feeling too ill to proceed any 
farther without rest and refreshments, I resolved to stop there 
all niglit. 

The inhabitants of the cabin were not very much inclined 
to be over communicative, and apparently did not want me for 
a lodger, and their abode was not one that I would have 
cared to make a prolonged sojourn in. I was too much of a 
veteran campaigner, however, to be over fastidious about my 
accommodations for a single night, and was too sick not to 
find any shelter welcome. From what I could learn from 
these people, I was not very many miles from the Federal 
lines, and I secured their good will, to a reasonable degree, 
by promising to pay well for my night's lodging, and what 
was given me to eat, and finally succeeded in inducing them 
to bestir themselves to make me as comfortable as circum- 
stances would permit. I also struck up a bargain with an old 
man who appeared to be the head of the household, such as it. 


was, to act as a guide for me in the morning, and to conduct 
me to the neighborhood of the Federal pickets. 

I wished my escort now to return to General Ferguson's 
headquarters, but, as he suggested that the negroes might 
prove treacherous, we both concluded that it would be best 
for him to remain until I was fairly started in the morning on 
my way to the Federal lines. A supper which, under some 
circumstances I would scarcely have found eatable, was pre- 
pared for us, and I partook of it with a certain' degree of 
relish, despite the coarse quality of the food, being too tired 
and hungry to be critical or squeamish. Then, completely 
used up by my long and toilsome ride, I retired to the misera- 
ble bed that was assigned me, and ere long was in happy 
obliviousness of the cares and trials of this world. 

About three o'clock in the morning I was up and ready 
to start, after having made a hasty toilet, and after a break- 
fast which served to satisfy my hunger, but which certainly 
did not tempt my palate. My escort now bade me good -by, 
and was soon out of sight, on his way back to camp, while 
I, mounted on a little pony, and with the old negro to lead 
the way, faced in the opposite direction. 

Through woods, over helds, along rough country roads, 
and often along mere pathways that could not be called roads 
at all, making short cuts wherever we saw a chance to do 
so, often dubious as to exactly where we were, and dreading 
lest we should come suddenly upon some picket-station, and 
thus lose a chance of making a proper diplomatic approach, 
the negro and I pursued our way for several hours during the 
damp and dismal gray morning twilight. 

Approaching the Federal Lines. 

Not having the most implicit confidence in my guide, I 
took care to keep him in front of me all the time, and had my 
hand constantly upon the pistol which General Ferguson had 
given me, and which I was resolved to use upon my colored 
companion in case he should be inclined to act treacherously. 
Fortunately there was no occasion for any violence, and our 
journey continued without interruption, except such as was 
caused by the rough nature of the ground, until, at length, I 
spied through the trees a little church. It was now broad 
dayliglit, although the sun was not yet up, and the surround- 
ings of this building, as it was seen through the fog-laden 


atmosphere, were dismal enough. I surmised, from wliat my 
guide had told me before we started out, that the Federal 
pickets must be somewhere near, and I concluded that it was 
time for me to get rid of the darkey; so I said to him, " Isn't 
that the church where you said you saw the Yankee 
soldiers ? " 

" Yes, miss, dat's de place ; dey's jes' beyond dat church a 
bit, or dey was las' week." 

" Well, I want to find them ; but I guess, if you don't want 
them to catch you, you'd better get back as quick as you can." 

" Lord, miss, I doesn't want dem to catch me, sure." 

" Well, then, you will have to travel off as fast as you are 
able ; if you don't, they will have you, and will run you off, 
and give you to the abolitionists." 

I said this in a very severe way, and it evidently made an 
impression on the darkey, who probably thought the abolition- 
ists were cannibals, who would proceed to use him as a sub- 
stitute for beef. He opened his eyes as big as saucers, and 
his teeth chattered so that he could scarcely say, " Good-by, 
miss," as he darted off, clutching the ten-dollar Confederate 
bill that I had handed him in payment for his services. 

Watching the old negro until he was out of sight, I rode up 
to the church, and dismounting, entered the building. My 
first care now Avas to get rid of my pistol, as I thought it 
would most probably be taken from me if the Federals found 
that I had it ; and the discovery of it, secreted upon my per- 
son, would be not unlikely to cause me to be suspected of 
being a spy, which, of course, was the very thing I was most 
anxious to avoid. Raising a plank in the flooring, I put the 
pistol under it, and covered it well with dirt. My intention 
was to return this way, and I expected to get the weapon, 
and give it back to General Ferguson. Circumstances, how- 
ever, induced me to change my plans ; and as I have never 
visited the spot since, if the church is still standing, the pistol 
is probably where I placed it, for I buried it tolerably deep, 
and smoothed the dirt well over it, so that it would not be 
likely to be discovered except by accident. 

As I stated before, my disguise, as I had arranged it with 
Lieutenant Shorter, was that of a poor countrywoman, and 
the story I was to tell was, that I was a widow, and was flying 
for protection to the Federal lines. Having disposed of the 
pistol, I sat down for a few minutes to think over the situa- 
tion, and to decide upon the best method of procedure with 


the first Federal soldier I met. Experience had taught me, 
however, that no settled plan, in a matter of this kind, 
amounts to much, so far as the details are concerned, and that 
it is necessary to be governed by circumstances. I resolved, 
therefore, to regulate my conduct and conversation according 
to the character and behavior of those I chanced to meet ; 
and so, having first ascertained that my papers were all right, 
I mounted my pony again, and started in the direction where 
I supposed I would find the Federal camp. 

Meeting a Federal Picket. 

Letting my pony take his own gait — and he was not in- 
clined to make his pace any more rapid than there was neces- 
sity for — I travelled for a couple of miles before I saw any 
one. At length a picket, who had evidently been watching 
me for some time, stepped out of the woods into the road, 
and when I came up to him, he halted me, and asked where 
I was from, and where I was going. 

" Good morning, sir," I said, in an innocent, unsophisticated 
sort of way. " Are you commanding this outpost ? " 

" No," he replied ; " what do you want ? " 

" Well, sir, I wish you would tell the captain I want to see 

'*' What do you want with the captain ? " 

" I have got a message to give the captain, but I can't give 
it to any one else." 

" He is over there in the woods." 

" Well, you just tell him that I want to see him quick, about 
something very important." 

The soldier then called to his ofiicer, and in a few moments 
up stepped a good-looking young lieutenant, whose blouse 
was badly out at the elbows, and whose clothing generally 
bore marks of very hard service. Although his attire was 
not of the most elegant description, he was a gentleman, and, 
as he approached me, he tipped his hat, and said, with a 
pleasant smile, " Good morning, madam ; what is it you 
wish? " 

" Are you the captain ? " I queried. 

" I am in command of this picket guard," he replied. 

"Well, captain," said I, "I want to go to Memphis, to see 
General Washburn. I have some papers here for him." 

This made him start a little, and he began to suspect that 


jubal early. 




he had a matter of serious business on hand, and, evidently 
with a difTcrent interest in me from what lie had felt before, 
he inquired, with a rather severe and serious air, " Where are 
you from, madam ? " 

'* I am from Holly Springs. A man there gave me these 
papers, and told me that if I would get them through he 
would pay me a hundred dollars." 

" What kind of looking man was he, and where did he go 
after he left you ? " 

" I mustn't tell you that, sir ; the man said not to tell any- 
thing about him, except to the one these papers are for, and 
he would understand all about it." 

" Well, madam, you will have to go with me to headquar- 
ters. When we get there I will see what can be done for 

His relief came, not a great while after, and off we started 
for headquarters. As I had informed my new-made friend 
that I was hungry, having ridden for a considerable distance 
since very early in the morning, he stopped with me at a 
white house near the road, and sending the guard on, went 
in with me, and asked the woman, who appeared to be mis- 
tress of the establishment, to give me some breakfast. Quite 
a comfortable meal was soon in readiness, and while I was 
eating, the lieutenant busied himself in trying to ascertain 
something about the number and position of the Confederate 
troops. I told him that there seemed to be a large force of 
them near Holly Springs, but beyond that statement, — which 
was, I believe, far from being the truth, — I am afraid he did 
not find me a very satisfactory witness. I am sure that such 
information as I did give him was not likely to be of very 
great use. 

Unpleasant Attentions feom the Soldiers. 

After I had finished my breakfast, the lieutenant took me 
to Moscow, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and 
here, for the first time, I was subjected to very serious annoy- 
ance, and first began to appreciate the fact that I was en- 
gaged in a particularly risky undertaking. The soldiers, 
seeing me coming into the town mounted on a ragged little 
pony, and under the escort of an officer, jumped at the con- 
clusion that I was a spy, and commenced to gather round me 
in crowds. 


" Who is she ? " some one asked. 

" 0, she's a spy that the IlHnois picket captured." 

" You're gone up ! " yelled some fellow in the crowd. 

" Why don't they hang her ? " was the pleasant inquiry of 

These and other cheering comments greeted me on all 
sides, and some of the brutal fellows pushed against me, and 
struck my pony, and otherwise made my progress through the 
streets exceedingly unpleasant, notwithstanding the- efibrts of 
the lieutenant to protect me. 

Finally we reached the building occupied by the colonel in 
command, and I was ushered by that official into a private 
room, in the rear of the one used as an office. The lieutenant 
accompanied me, and related the manner of my coming to the 
picket station, and the story which I had told him. 

Under Cross-Examination. 

The colonel then proceeded to cross-question me, being 
apparently desirous of finding out whether I was possessed 
of any information worth his knowing, as well as whether I 
was exactly what I professed to be. I flattered myself that 
I played my part tolerably well. I knew very little about the 
movements of the Confederates, or their number, but, under 
the process of rigid cross-questioning to which I was sub- 
jected, I said just enough to stimulate curiosity, pretending 
that what I was telling was what I had picked up merely 
incidentally, and that, as I took no interest in the fighting 
that was going on, except to desire to get as far away from it 
as possible, I really knew scarcely anything, except from 

As for myself, I stuck close to one simple story. I was a 
poor widow woman, whose husband had died about the time 
of the breaking out of the war ; I was for the Union, and had 
been badly treated by the rebels, who had robbed me of 
nearly everything, and I had been anxious to get away for 
some time with a little money I had collected, and had finally 
got tired of waiting for the Federal troops to come down my 
way, and had resolved to try and get through the lines ; that 
a man had promised I should be paid a hundred dollars if I 
would carry a despatch to General Washburn, at Memphis, 
and had assisted me to get off; that I was to deliver the 
papers to General Washburn only, and was to tell him alone 


certain things that the man had told mc ; I had some friends 
in Ohio, to whom I was anxious to go, and I hoped that Gen- 
eral Washburn, after I had given the despatch to him, would 
pay nic the hundred dollars, and lurnish mc with a pass to go 

The colonel tried to make me vary this story, and he sev- 
eral times pretended that I had contradicted myself. He was 
tolerably smart at a cross-examination, but not by any means 
smart enough for the subject he had to deal with on this 
occasion. I had the most innocent air in the world about me, 
and pretended, half the time, that I was so stupid tliat I 
could not understand what his interrogatories meant, and, 
instead of answering them, would go off into a long story 
about my troubles, and the hardships I had suffered, and the 
bad treatment I had received. The colonel then tried to 
induce me to give him the despatch, saying that he would 
pay me the hundred dollars, and would forward it to General 
Washburn. This I refused to do, as I had promised not to 
let anybody but the general have it, if I could help it. 
Neither would I tell who it was that had intrusted me with 
the despatch, or give any clew to the message for the general 
he had intrusted me to deliver by word of mouth. 

In fine, the colonel was practically no wiser when he had 
finished than when he commenced, and so, finding that no 
information worth talking about was to be obtained from me, 
he said, " Where will 3''ou go, if I give you a pass?" at the 
same time winking at the lieutenant. 

" I want to go to Memphis, sir, to give this paper to General 
Washburn, and I hope that the general will be kind enough 
to send me on to Ohio." 

" Have you any money ? " 

" Yes, sir ; I have about one hundred and fifty dollars." 

" Confederate money, isn't it?" 

" No, sir ; it's greenbacks. I wouldn't have that rebel 
trash ; it isn't worth anything." 

"Well, madam," then said the colonel, "you will remain 
here until the train is ready to start, and I will see, in the 
mean time, what I can do for you." 

The colonel then went out ; but the lieutenant remained, 
and engaged in a general sort of a conversation with me for 
some time. About noon, he suggested that perhaps I was 
hungry, and went and procured me something to eat. The 
train came in at one o'clock, and I proceeded to the depot 


under the escort of the two officers ; the colonel, in response 
to my request that the soldiers should not annoy me as they 
had done in the morning, assuring me that he regretted any- 
thing of the kind had happened, and promising that he would 
see that I was protected from insult. Whether the presence 
of the colonel was the sole cause of the difference in their 
behavior or not, I cannot say, but the soldiers kept their dis- 
tance as we were going to the depot, and only stared at me. 
When we reached the depot, the colonel procured me a ticket, 
and gave me five dollars, and I overheard him say, in an un- 
dertone, to the lieutenant, " You get in the rear car, and keep 
an eye on her movements. I think that she is all right, but it 
would be just as well to watch her." 

The lieutenant said, " 0, there's no doubt in my mind but 
she is all right." 

This little conversation made me smile to myself, and served 
to convince me that I would have no trouble in getting along 
nicely with my friend the lieutenant. 

The colonel moved off, and the lieutenant and I stepped 
aboard the train, a half dozen soldiers who were near making 
such comments as, " She's gone up." " I guess she'll hang." 
" Hanging's too good for a spy." I took no notice of them, 
however, but seated myself on the opposite side of the car 
from where they were standing. The lieutenant was over- 
whelmingly polite, and after having got me fixed comfortably 
in my seat, he said, in a low tone, " I may go up with you as 
far as my camp, if I can get any one to hold my horse." 

I thought that this would be a good chance to improve my 
acquaintance with him, and perhaps do something for the fur- 
therance of my plans ; so I said, " 0, I would be so glad if 
you would. I would so much like to have company." And I 
smiled on him as sweetly as I was able, to impress him with 
the idea that I profoundly appreciated his courtesy. The 
young fellow was evidently more than half convinced that he 
had made a conquest, while I was quite sure that I had. If 
he had known what my real feelings were, and with what 
entire willingness I would have made a prisoner of him, could 
I have got him into the Confederate lines, perhaps he would 
not have been quite so eager for my society. 

When the lieutenant left, the soldiers began to crowd about 
the windows of the car, for the purpose of staring at me, and 
using towards me the same kind of abusive language as that 
which I have already quoted. I came to the conclusion that 


there miiRt bo rather lax discipline when a woman, situated as I 
was, who was especially under the protection of the ofiicors of 
the command, and whom the colonel had given orders should 
not be insulted in any way, could be subjected to such continued 
ill usage as this. I was the more indignant, as there were 
several officers standing by, who took no notice of the beliavior 
of the men, and made no efibrt whatever to prevent them 
from indulging in what, under any circumstances, was a mean 
and cowardly pastime. At length, provoked beyond measure, 
I called to an officer near, who wore a major's uniform, and 
said to him, "I would thank you, sir, to do something to stop 
the men from insulting me. I am travelling under a pass 
from the colonel, and he promised that I should not be an- 
noyed in this manner," 

The major very promptly came forward, and pushing some 
of the soldiers away from the windows, said, " Men, keep 
quiet, and do not insult this lady. She is on our side ; she is 
Union." And then, turning to me, he remarked, " 0, you 
mustn't mind them. You see, they have got it into their 
heads that 3'ou are a spy. They won't trouble you any 

It struck me, as the major was making this little speech, 
that the soldiers were wiser than some of their officers, al- 
though I did not feel any more amiable towards them on 
that account. I, however, thanked the major for his prompt- 
ness in coming to my protection, and we passed a few words, 
the idea entering my head that if I could fall into a conversa- 
tion with him I might be able to beguile him into giving me 
some points of information worth having. Before, however, 
we had an opportunity to do more than exchange the ordinary 
civilities of the day, the train began to move, and I was un- 
able to improve my acquaintance with him. 




My Friend, the Lieutenant, concludes that he will make himself better ac- 
quainted with me. — Indiscreet Confidences. — Some of the Traits of 
human Nature. — The Kind of Secrets Women can keep. — Women 
better than Men for certain Kinds of Secret Service Duty. — The Lieu- 
tenant wants to know all about me. — I suspect that he has matrimonial 
Inclinations. — He is anxious to discover whether I have any wealthy 
Relations. — I am induced to think that I can make him useful in obtain- 
ing Information with Regard to the Federal Movements. — The Lieuten- 
ant expresses his Opinion about the War. — Arrival at Memphis. — 
Visit to the Provost Marshal's Office. — General Washburn too ill to see 
me. — I enclose him the bogus Despatch I have for him with an explan- 
atory Note. — The Lieutenant escorts me to the Hardwick House, and 
I request him to call in the Morning. — Procuring a Change of Dress 
through One of the Servants, 1 slip out, and have an Interview with my 
Confederate, and give him the Despatch for General Forrest. — On 
returning to the Hotel, I meet the Lieutenant on the Street, but manage 
to pass him without being observed. — Satisfactory Accomplishment of 
my Errand. 

1^ CONCLUDED that my friend, the lieutenant, had 
deserted me, for which I was inclined to be sorry ; 
for he was apparently an agreeable enough young 
fellow, and I was rather anxious than otherwise to 
have his company as far as Memphis. If any 
doubts as to my being '* all right," as the colonel 
had expressed it, still lingered in his mind, I thought 
that I would not only be able to remove them before 
our journey's end, but that I might be able so to insin- 
uate myself into his confidence that I could learn 
something from him. I also wished him to go to Mem- 
phis with me, for I felt that if I put in an appearance there, 
under the escort of a Federal officer who would vouch for me, 
my status with the people at headquarters would be more sat- 
isfactory than if I went alone. In performing spy duty, there 
is nothing like having a friend at headquarters to introduce 



you, and to certify to your intentions being such as would meet 
witli approbation. 

As matters turned out, the lieutenant not only did accom- 
pany me, but ho let out many things that ho ought to have 
kept quiet about, knowing, as he did, the manner in which I 
had come into the lines, and having no assurance whatever 
beyond my bare word that I was not a spy. To be sure, the 
information I obtained from him with regard to the main object 
of my errand was not very momentous, for I was afraid to say 
too much on points relating to my errand ; but I, without any 
difficulty, learned enough to enable me to know exactly how 
to go to work to find out a great deal more. Besides this, he 
was really of much assistance to me in other ways, and saved 
me considerable trouble at headquarters — for all of which I 
hope I was duly thankful. 

About keeping Secrets. 

It may be thought that an officer of the experience of this 
one — he had been through the war from tl)e beginning — 
would have understood his business sufficiently by this time 
to have known how to hold his tongue concerning matters that 
it was desirable the enemy should not become informed of, 
when in the society of a person whom he well knew might be 
a spy. If all the officers and men in an army, however, were 
endowed with, not wisdom only, but plain common sense, the 
business of the secret service agents would be a very much 
more difficult and hazardous one than it really is. The young 
fellow was only a lieutenant, with no great responsibilities, 
while some of my most brilliant successes in the way of ob- 
taining information have been with generals, and even with 
their superiors, as the reader will discover, if he feels suffi- 
cient interest in my story to follow it to the end. 

The fact is, that human nature is greatly given to confi- 
dence ; so much so, that the most unconfiding and suspicious 
people are usually the easiest to extract any desired informa- 
tion from, provided you go the right way about it. This may 
seem to be a paradox ; but it is not : it is merely a statement 
of a peculiar trait of human nature. Women have tlio repu- 
tation of being bad secret-keepers. Well, that depends on 
circumstances. I have always succeeded in keeping mine, 
when I have had any worth keeping ; and I have always found 
it more difficult to beguile women than men into telling mo 


what I have wanted to know, when they had the slightest 
reason to suspect that I was not a suitable recipient of their 
confidence. The truth seems to be, that while women find it 
often troublesome, and well nigh impossible, to keep little 
and inconsequential secrets, they are first-rate hands at keep- 
ing great ones. 

For certain kinds of secret service work women are, out of 
all comparison, superior to men. This, I believe, is acknowl- 
edged by all detectives and others who have been compelled 
to employ secret agents. One reason for this is, that women, 
when they undertake a secret service job, are really quicker 
witted and more wide awake than men ; they more easily 
deceive other people, and are less easily imposed upon. Of 
course there is a great deal of secret service work for which 
women are not well fitted, and much that it is scarcely possi- 
ble for them to perform at all ; but, as a rule, for an enterprise 
that requires real finesse, a woman wiU be likely to accomplish 
far more than a man. 

I was just thinking that my lieutenant had deserted me, or 
that he was in another car for the purpose of keeping an eye 
on me unobserved, when he appeared beside me, having 
jumped on the rear end of the car as it was starting. 

He said, " You have no objections to my occupying the same 
seat with you, have you, madam ? " 

" 0, no, sir ! " I replied ; " I shall be exceedingly glad to 
have the pleasure of your society, so far as you are going." 

" Well, I only intend going up to my camp now, but 1 have 
half a mind to run on as far as Memphis — that is, if my com- 
pany will not be disagreeable to you." 

" I will be very greatly pleased if you will go through with 
me. It has been a long time since I have met any agreeable 
gentlemen, and I particularly admire officers." 

As I said this I gave him a killing glance, and then dropped 
my eyes as if half ashamed of having made such a bold ad- 
vance to him. The bait took, however, as I expected it 
would ; and the lieutenant, giving his mustache a twist, and 
running his hand through his hair, settled himself down in the 
seat with a most self-satisfied air, evidently supposing that the 
conquest of my heart was more than half completed, and be- 
gan to make himself as agreeable as he knew how. Finesse 
was certainly not this youth's most marked characteristic, and 
he went about making himself agreeable, and endeavoring to 
discover who I was, where I came from, and all about vae^ in 


such an awkward, lubberly manner, that it was mere play for 
me to impose upon him. 

Matters Matrimonial and Otherwise. 

He had not been seated more than a minute or two before 
he bkirted out, "I guess you're married — ain't you?" 

*•' No, sir ; I'm a widow." 

" Is that so? Well, now, about how long has the old man 
been dead ? " 

" My husband died shortly after the breaking out of the 
war. I have been a widow nearly three years." 

" Well, that's a pretty good while to be a widow ; but I 
reckon men are scarce down your way. Got any children ? " 

"No, sir; unfortunately I have no children." 

" Well, that's lucky, anyhow." 

I did not exactly understand whether he meant that it was 
lucky for me, or for him, in case he made up his mind to marry 
me. I, however, thought it a good occasion for a little senti- 
ment, and so, giving a sigh, said, " Children are a great com- 
fort, sometimes." 

" Yes, I suppose so," said he ; " especially when they are 
your own. 1 don't care much for other people's children, 

" Are you married, sir ? " I suggested, in a rather timid 
tone, and giving him another killing glance. 

" Not much," he replied, with considerable force ; " but I 
wouldn't mind being, if I could find a real nice woman who 
would have me." And with this he gave me a tender look 
that was very touching. 

" 0, there ought to be plenty of women who would gladly 
have a fine, handsome officer like you." 

"Do you think so, now, really? Well, I'll have to look 
round. By the way, where do you come from? Do you be- 
long down South ? " 

" No, sir," I replied ; " I am a foreigner by birth, but my 
husband was an American, and lived in Ohio until shortly be- 
fore the Avar." 

" Is that so, now ? You're English — ain't you ? " 

" No, sir ; my parents were French and Spanish." 

"I guess you must speak those languages, then?" 

" Yes, sir ; much better than English." 

"Well, said he, " I'm mighty glad I met you." 


" Thank you, sir. I may say the same to you." 

He then remarked, *' I don't believe you'll have any difficulty 
in getting through to Memphis, or any trouble after you reach 
there. I will be glad to assist you any way I can." 

I thanked him for his kind intentions ; and he then, in a hes- 
itating sort of a way, said, " I hope you won't feel offended if I 
inquire how your finances are." 

'' 0, no, sir ; no offence at all. I am sorry to say that my 
funds are rather low." 

" Weil, I'll see you fixed all right until you can hear 
from your friends. How long do you expect to remain in 
Memphis ? " 

" No longer than I can possibly help ; for I want to get back 
to Europe, where I have friends who will take care of me, at 
the earliest opportunity." 

" I'm mighty sorry j'ou are going to make such a short stay. 
I was hoping that we might become better acquainted. It 
isn't often that we meet with real ladies in these parts." 

An Anxious Inquirer. 

He then proceeded to inquire who my relatives in Europe 
were, where they lived, whether they were wealthy or not, — 
he seemed to be especially anxious on this point, — how old I 
was, whether I had ever thought much about getting married 
again, and so forth. I answered his queries as promptly as he 
could have wished, and perhaps more to his satisfaction than 
if I had told him the exact truth in every instance. 

At length the whistle blew, and the train stopped at his 
camp. He jumped up, and rushed out, without even saying 
good-by; and while I was wondering where he had left his 
politeness, I saw him running as fast as he could go, and pres- 
ently dodge into a tent. In a moment or two more out he 
came in his shirt sleeves, and ran for the train, with his coat 
in his hand, and jumped on board just as we were starting. I 
turned around, and watched him as he got into the car behind 
me, and saw him put on a rather better looking uniform coat 
than the out-at-the-elbows blouse he had been wearing, and a 
paper collar and black necktie. These last I considered as 
particularly delicate attentions to myself. 

When he had completed his toilet, he came forward, and, 
seating himself beside me, said, '' I will allow myself the 
pleasure of going through to Memphis with you." 


I assured him that I was pleased beyond measure, and came 
to the conchision that it would be my fault if long before we 
reached Memphis I did not stand so well in his good graces 
that I would be able to make a most useful ally of him in car- 
rying out my plans for the benefit of the Confederacy. 

" Do you see that field over there ? " said he, pointing to a 
good sized clearing. " That's where our boys had a fight 
with Forrest." 

" Did you run fast?" I asked, rather maliciously. 

" We had to run," said he ; '' they were too many for us." 

" 0, what a pity," said I ; " you ought to have whipped 
them;" and thought, at the same time, that there would be 
some more hard running done if I ever succeeded in getting 
to Forrest the despatch I had for him. 

"We'll whip them yet," said the lieutenant. " We've had 
some big successes lately in Virginia, Missouri, and Arkansas, 
and we'd treat them worse than we do here if we only had a 
few more men." 

" Why," said I, " there seems to be a great many of you." 

Important Information. 

" 0, there's not half enough to do anything. They've got 
us scattered along this railroad in such a way that it's almost 
as much as we can do to hold our own, when any kind of a 
crowd of rebs puts in an appearance." 

This Avas interesting ; but I did not think it prudent just 
then to question him any closer on such a delicate subject, 
trusting that before we parted he would let out, of his own 
accord, some other facts worth knoAving; so I merely said, 
" 0, this war is a terrible thing. It makes me sick to think of 
so many being killed and wounded." 

" That's so," he replied. '" It is bad, but now we've begun 
it, I guess we'll have to fight it out." 

" What do you think they will do with that miserable fellow, 
Davis, if they catch him ? " said I. 

" Well, I'm for hanging Jeff, and all his cabinet. We'll just 
string up the leaders, and let the little people go, if they will 
promise to behave themselves." 

This made my blood boil ; but I controlled my feelings, and 
remarked, " 0, I don't believe they will hang him. They've 
got to catch liim first, you know ; and then the government at 
Washington is disposed to be lenient, isn't it?" 


" Yes, that's just what's the matter. Between the milk-and- 
water policy of the government, and the speculators who have 
been allowed to do pretty much as they please, it has been 
hard work carrying on the war at all. We western men have 
done nearly all the hardest fighting, and we've got the least 
credit for it. So far as I am concerned, if I had known that 
it was the niggers we were going to fight for, I never would 
have raised my sword." 

" O, you don't believe in slavery, do you ? " said I, with the 
view of increasing his confidence in me. 

" No," said he ; '' but the niggers are better off where they 
are, and are not worth fighting for, anyhow." 

I tried to draw him out on this subject, but for some reason 
he did not seem inclined to talk about it any more ; and he 
branched off into anecdotes of army life, the fights he had 
been engaged in, and a variety of matters that were enter- 
taining enough, but do not merit being placed on record. This 
conversation amused me, and gave me a good number of 
points worth knowing in the particular business in which I 
was engaged, until at length the train reached Memphis, and 
my escort assisting me to alight, requested me to wait on the 
platform for him while he engaged a carriage. 

In a few moments he returned with a close-bodied carriage, 
and when I was seated in it he ordered the driver to go to the 
Hardwick House. 

'^ 0, no," said I; "I must go to General "Washburn's head- 
quarters first, and deliver my despatch and message." 

" Just as you like," said he ; " but I thought that you might 
prefer to arrange your toilet before seeing the general." 

"No," I replied; "I must see him immediately, as I was 
told that this was a matter of great importance. The general 
won't mind my looks." 

A QUEER Way of doing Business. 

The driver was accordingly directed to take us to head- 
quarters, and before many more minutes I was ushered into 
the presence of the provost marshal, to whom I stated my 
errand. The fact of the lieutenant being with me undoubt- 
edly prevented a great many questions being asked, some of 
which it might not have been agreeable, or even possible, for 
me to answer, and I accordingly was more than ever impressed 
with the value of having him for an acquaintance, especially 


as he put in a word now and then which had the effect of 
establishin*:^ me on a satisfactory footing with the provost 
marshal. That official, when he had heard my story, said, 
" Madam, I am sorry, but the general is very much indisposed, 
and cannot see you. I will be glad to receive anything you 
may have for him, and to give him any message from you." 

*' 0, sir, I must see him. It is impossible for me to com- 
municate what I have to say to any one else." 

'* Did the person who confided the paper to you give you 
any private instructions?" 

** Yes, sir, and he was very particular in telling me to com- 
municate with the general in person, and with no one else," 

" Well, madam, I am sorry for you ; but, as I said before, 
the general is unable to see you, and you will either have to 
leave the paper and your message with me, or else call again." 

This struck me as being a decidedly odd way of doing 
business. Here I was professing to be a despatch-bearer, 
with a confidential message from a spy within the enemy's 
lines, and the probabilities all in favor of my business being 
of extreme importance ; and jot, the officer who assumed to 
represent the general placidly requesting me to call again, 
just as if I was some one who had stepped in to ask a favor 
of him. I concluded that if matters were managed in this 
kind of style at headquarters, Memphis would not be a very 
difficult place for me to operate in, or for the Confederates to 
operate against, if they thought it worth their while. I knit 
my brows, looked vexed and perplexed, tapped the ground 
with my foot, and pretended to be thinking deeply about what 
course I had better pursue. After a few moments' considera- 
tion, I concluded that the best thing I could do was to get the 
bogus despatch off my hands, and thus be free to attend to 
other business of more importance ; so I said, " That is too 
bad, for I promised to see the general himself, as the man was 
so particular that I should ; but if he won't see me, I suppose 
I will have to write to him." 

The provost marshal accordingly furnished me with a sheet 
of paper, and I sat down at his desk and scribbled off a brief 
note to tlie general, telling him enough about the source from 
which I had obtained the despatch to induce him to believe in 
its genuineness, and intimated that if he wanted to know more 
he could send for me. This note and the despatch I enclosed 
in the same envelope, and handed it to the provost marshal, 
with a request that it might be given to the general immedi- 


ately. I fully expected that when General Washburn received 
these enclosures he would have me brought before him for the 
purpose of interrogation, and was much surprised when he 
did nothing of the kind. 

The provost marshal took the envelope back into his private 
office, and on his return he asked me where I was going to 
stop. I replied that I did not know yet ; whereupon he sug- 
gested that there was a nice private boarding-house near the 
Catholic church. 1 objected to going there, however, and 
said that I Avould prefer to locate myself at the Hardwick House 
for the present. To the hotel I accordingly went, under the 
escort of my friend, the lieutenant, and registered myself as 
Mrs. Fowler, not at all grieved at not having seen the general, 
and quite satisfied not to see him in the future if he did not 
wish to see me, for I considered tlie material part of my errand 
now practically accomplished. 

The lieutenant, when he saw me fairly established in com- 
fortable quarters, asked me to excuse him, saying that, as I 
seemed to be short of funds, he would see if he could not 
obtain some for me. I thanked him very much, made all 
manner of apologies for giving him so much trouble, and as a 
broad hint that I did not want to see any more of him that 
day, ask^d him to call in the morning, as I was feeling quite 
sick, was tired out with my journey, and would retire to rest 
after getting some supper. He was not a fool, and understood 
that 1 did not desire his company ; so, taking his leave, he said 
that he would give orders for something to eat to be brought 
up to my room, and would come to see me again in the morn- 
ing if I would permit him. 

He had not been gone a great while before a servant ap- 
peared with a very nice supper. This I ate with immense 
relish, for I was desperately hungry, at the same time making 
certain inquiries of the servant for the purpose of enabling me 
to judge whether it would be safe or prudent to attempt to 
communicate that night with the spy for whom I had the de- 
spatch which was to be forwarded to Forrest. It was now 
nearly dark, and I decided that no better time for meeting the 
spy could be found. I accordingly asked the servant to try 
and borrow for me some rather more presentable articles 
of attire than those I had on, as I desired to go out for the 
purpose of making a few purchases, and was really ashamed to 
go into the streets dressed as I was. My real reason was that 
I was afraid the lieutenant, or the provost marshal, or some 


one who had seen me, should happen to meet me wliile T was 
out, and as, dressed in tlie rather outlandish fashion in which 
I had appeared at the picket station, they would not fail to 
recognize me, suspicions might be excited which would result 
in spoiling all my plans. 

The servant, whose zeal in my behalf was stimulated by a 
five-dollar greenback, was not long in appearing with a rea- 
sonably decent-looking dress, bonnet, and shawl, I then attired 
myself with as much speed as I could command, and after 
having the dust and dirt brushed off my shoes, was ready to 

A Conference with the Spy. 

It is scarcely necessary to say that I was well acquainted 
with Memphis, and consequently knew exactly how to go and 
where to go in search of my man. Fortunately for me, the place 
was not a very great way from the hotel, and persuading the 
accommodating servant to show me out the back door, under 
the plea that, meanly attired as I was, I was ashamed to be 
seen by the officers who were standing about the front of the 
building, I was not long in reaching it. 

I knocked at the door, and the very man I was looking for 
came to let me in. I had never seen him before, but I knew 
him immediately by the description I had of him. Giving him 
the password 1 was admitted, and he eagerly inquired what I 
had for hitn. I handed him the despatch which he was to 
convey to Forrest, and gave him the verbal instructions which 
Lieutenant Shorter had ordered me to convey to him, and 
urged the necessity for his making haste in reaching Forrest 
at the earliest practicable moment. He, however, said that he 
thought that a movement of the Federal troops was in con- 
templation, and that he would like to find out exactly what it 
was before starting, and as I seemed to be on good terms at 
headquarters, he urged that I should endeavor to obtain the 
information for him. I consented to try what I could do, 
while he promised not to delay his departure longer than two 
days, at the farthest. 

Before parting, I represented the danger to both if we 
should be seen in conference, and said that I would prefer not 
meeting liim again if some means of communicating with him 
without a personal interview could be devised. He, therefore, 
suggested that if I obtained the desired information I should 
write him a note and deposit it in a certain place which he 


designated. I consented to this and took my departure, 
wishing him good luck. On my way back to the hotel, the 
prudence of my change of dress was sufficiently demonstrated, 
for on turning a corner I nearly ran against my friend the 
lieutenant and another officer, who were walking slowly along 
the street. My heart leaped into my mouth when I saw who 
it was, but as there was no retreat, I trusted to the darkness 
and my change of costume, and glided by them as swiftly and 
quietly as I could, and fortunately was able to gain my room 
without discovery. 

My errand was now accomplished, and in as satisfactory a 
manner as could be desired, and the only apprehension I had 
was lest the spy to whom I had given the despatch for For- 
rest might not succeed in getting off in safety. If he should 
be arrested and the document found on him, the finger of sus- 
picion would not unlikely point to me as the original bearer 
of it. I thought, however, that he was probably well able to 
take care of himself, and being too much of a veteran to allow 
myself to be worried about possibilities that might never 
come to pass, I went to bed feeling that the responsibility of 
the business was well off my shoulders, and was soon in happy 
obliviousness of cares of every kind. 





A Friend in Need is a Friend indeed. — The Lieutenant aids me in procur- 
ing a new Wardrobe. — I succeed in finding out all I want to know 
about the Number and the Disposition of the Federal Troops on the Line 
of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. — A Movement made in 
Accordance with the bogus Despatch which I had brought to General 
Washburn. — Forrest makes his Raid, and I pretend to be alarmed lest 
the Rebels sliould capture me. — The Lieutenant continues his Atten- 
tions, and something occurs to induce me to change my Plans. — I 
have an Interview with an Officer of my Brother's Command, and learn 
that he is a Prisoner. — I resolve to go to him, and leave for the North 
on a Pass furnished by General Washburn. — At Louisville I have an 
Interview with a mysterious secret Agent of the Confederacy, wlio sup- 
plies me with Funds. — On reaching Columbus, Ohio, I obtain a Permit 
to see my Brother. — Through the Agency of Governor Brough my 
Brother is released, and we go East together, — he to New York, I to 


HE next morning the lieutenant made his 
appearance bright and early, and said that he 
had raised a hundred dollars for me, by repre- 
senting me as a Union woman who was flying 
from persecution in the Confederacy, and who 
had brought important information into the lines. This 
money I regarded as lawful spoils of war, and therefore 
had no hesitation in accepting it. Expressing my grati- 
tude to my friend for his zeal in my behalf, I said that 
he would place me under still further obligations if he 
would aid me in obtaining some better clothing than that I 
had on. He expressed the greatest desire to oblige me, and 
taking half of the money, he invested a good portion of it in a 
stylish bonnet, a handsome piece of dress goods, and a pair of 
shoes. He also presented me with a number of little articles, 
which I was given to understand were meant for testimonials 
of his individual regard. 



During the day I was called upon by several officers and 
others, and one lady — an officer's wife — loaned me a dress to 
Avear until mine should be finished. Taking my piece of goods 
to the dressmaker's, 1 stated that I was in a great hurry, and 
she accordingly promised to have it finished by the next 
evening. Thus I was in a short time fitted out in good style, 
and was able to figure to as great an extent as I desired in 
such society as Memphis afforded just at that time. 

My new friends were extremely anxious to know exactly 
what was going on within the rebel lines, and asked me all sorts 
of questions. I endeavored to gratify their curiosity as well as 
I could without committing myself too much, and in return 
made an effort to find out what I was so desirous of knowing 
about the contemplated movement of the Federal troops. 

I did not have a great deal of trouble in learning very nearly 
everything that was to be learned about the number and dis- 
position of the troops along the line of the Memphis and 
Charleston Eailroad, and also that the force at CoUiersville was 
being materially strengthened in apprehension of an attack in 
that quarter. This information I promptly communicated to 
my confidant, who started for Forrest's headquarters without 
more delay. The concentration of the Federal force at Col- 
liersville, I had every reason to believe, was induced by the 
despatch I delivered to General Washburn. At any rate, it 
had the effect of leaving a gap in the Federal line beyond 
Grand Junction for Forrest to step through ; and, when in a 
day or two, intelligence was received that he was on a grand 
raid through Western Tennessee, I knew that the plot in 
which I had been engaged had succeeded in tbe best manner. 

Forrest's Kaid. 

I made a great to-do when the news of Forrest's raid was 
received, and pretended to be frightened lest an attack should 
be made on Memphis, and the rebels should capture me. 
The fact is, that Forrest, before he got through, did come 
very near the city, and some of my new acquaintances were 
just as much frightened in reality as I pretended to be. He, 
however, did not make any demonstration in the city, but 
after a brilliant campaign of several weeks slipped by the 
Federals again, carrying back with him into Mississippi 
sufficient cattle and other booty to amply repay him for his 


I tliought that I had reason to conj^ratulate myself upon the 
success of the enterprise in which I had been engaged. 
Taking it altogether, it was as well planned and as well 
executed a performance as any I ever attempted during the 
whole of my career in the Confederate service. 

My friend, the lieutenant, whose regard for me really 
increased with each -succeeding interview, was obliged to 
return to his camp, after having assisted me in obtaining 
a new outfit. In a day or two, however, he returned, 
liaving obtained a ten days' leave of absence, and he began 
to increase the zealousness of his attentions. On his return 
to Memphis he brought with him a fine horse, whicli he 
claimed to have captured, and said that it should be 
reserved for my use, if I would accept of it, so long as I 
remained in the city. I was not at all averse to having a 
good time, although I was beginning to wonder how I was 
ever to get back to my starting-place again, and I rode out 
a number of times with the lieutenant, and accepted his 
escort on all occasions that he offered it. 

A Change op Plans. 

It was while attending church on the Sunday following the 
arrival, on leave, of this rather over-attentive young gentle- 
man, that something occurred which caused a very material 
alteration in my plans, which induced me to abandon my 
design to return to Mobile, and which resulted in my entering 
upon an entirely new field of operations. I, of course, at the 
time, had no idea whatever how things were going to turn 
out, but if all had been arranged beforehand they could not 
have turned out more in accordance with my desires. 

During the service I noticed in the congregation a Con- 
federate officer in citizen's clothes, whom I knew by sight, and 
who belonged to my brother's command. He did not know 
me, especially as a woman, although he had seen me a number 
of times attired in the uniform of a Confederate officer. I was 
most desirous of communicating with him, for the purpose of 
inquiring about my brother, of whom I had received no intel- 
ligence whatever for a number of months ; so, after the service 
was over, I watched him as he left the church, and seeing him 
turn the corner, said to the lieutenant, " Let us take a walk 
down this street." Keeping him in sight, I saw him turn down 
towards the Hardwick House, and consequently suggested to 


Gettysburg, Pa. 



the lieutenant that it would perhaps be as well to return to 
the hotel instead of indulging in a promenade. My escort 
thought that I was disposed to be whimsical ; but I did not 
bother myself very greatly about his opinion of me one way 
or the other, being now only intent upon devising some 
means of obtaining an interview with the disguised Confed- 
erate. * 

On reaching the hotel I found that the man I was after had 
disappeared, and I was considerably perplexed to know what 
course to pursue. I was afraid to send him my card, for fear 
of compromising him in some way, as I thought it highly prob- 
able that he was stopping at the hotel under an assumed 
name. I was bent on securing an opportunity to converse 
with him, however, and hoped to be able to meet him, and to 
attract his attention before evening, but failing in this, I was 
resolved to find out what I could about him from some of the 
servants, and to send him a note requesting a private inter- 
view, giving him a suflScient hint as to who I was to induce 
him to tliink that he would be in no danger. Fortunately, 
however, I was not compelled to resort to any such expedient 
as this, for, on going in to dinner at five o'clock with the 
lieutenant, I saw him at one of the tables, having apparent- 
ly just sat down. 


The lieutenant was conducting me to the seat which we 
usually occupied, but I said, as if seized with a sudden freak 
for a change of locality, '' Suppose we go over to this table 
to-day. I think we will find it pleasanter ; " and, before my 
Federal friend had time to object, I had walked him across 
the room and seated myself beside the Confederate, indicating 
for the lieutenant to take the seat on the other side of me. 
When the waiter came up to get our orders for dinner, I 
asked him to bring me a couple of cards. 

All this time I took not the slightest notice of the Confed- 
erate, but chatted with the lieutenant in the livehest and most 
animated manner possible ; my object being to so engage his 
attention that he would not think of observing what I was 
doing for the purpose of letting the gentleman on the other 
side of me know that I was interested in him. 

On one of the cards I wrote some nonsense, which I sent 
by the waiter, after having shown it to the lieutenant, to 


another officer whom I saw on tlie opposite side of the room. 
On the other one I wrote, " Meet me at my room, at half past 
ten o'clock this evening, unobserved. Important." This I 
made a pretence of slipping in my pocket, but dropped it on 
the floor instead, touching the Confederate officer as I did so, 
and lialf turning towards him in such a manner that he could 
readily understand that I Avas endeavoring to attract his 
attention. While this was going on, the lieutenant was 
watching to see what would be the effect of the jesting 
remark I had written on the first card on the gentleman 
across the room to whom I had sent it. He laughed and 
nodded, and the lieutenant and I did the same, — all of us, 
apparently, being satisfied that there was a capital joke in 
progress ; which indeed there was, but not exactly the kind 
of one they imagined. 

The Confederate officer, when he looked down and saw the 
card on the floor, quickly dropped his napkin on it, and 
stooped to pick it up. He found an opportunity to read my 
message before he left the table, but I took no further notice 
of him whatever, until just as he was about to retire, when I 
turned sliglitly, and looking him full in the face, gave him a 
meaning glance, so that he could understand that there was 
no mistake about the matter. 

At the hour named on the card the Confederate officer 
came to my room, evidently very much perplexed, and uncer- 
tain what the end of the adventure would be. I hastened to 
apologize for the liberty I had taken, and to place him at his 
ease by explaining matters. 

I said, '* You will pardon me, sir ; but this is Lieutenant B., 
of Arkansas, is it not ? " 

" Yes, madam, that is my name," he replied. 

" You need be under no apprehension, sir. I know you, 
although you do not know me. I am the sister of Captain 

, and I am exceedingly anxious to learn where he is 

and how he is, for I have not been able to hear from him 
for a very long time." 

News from my Brother. 
The announcement that I was the sister of Captain 

was evidently an immense relief to Lieutenant B., whose face 
brightened up immediately. Ho stated that he was very 
much pleased to meet me, but that he was sorry to have to 


tell me that my brother had been captured by the Federals 
about four months before, and was now a prisoner at Camp 

This was unpleasant news, and it determined me to give 
up the idea of returning to Mobile, but to go North and visit 
my brother, for the purpose of assisting him in any way 
possible. From what I had learned during my late stay in 
Memphis, too, I was very well convinced that, as a secret 
service agent, I M^ould be able to operate with far more effect 
at the North than I would if I remained in this region of 
country; which was an additional inducement for me to travel 
northward, rather than to essay the hazardous experiment of 
regaining the Confederate lines without having some definite 
object in view. 

I had quite a lengthy conversation with Lieutenant B. 
about my brother, and about affairs generally ; and having 
announced to him my intention of visiting the North, and 
perhaps of acting as a secret service agent if I saw opportu- 
nities for doing anything for the advancement of the Con- 
federate cause, I obtained from him quite a number of hints 
about the best methods of proceeding, and he gave me the 
names of persons in different places who were friends of the 
Confederacy, and with whom I could communicate. He also 
advised me to talk with certain parties, whom lie named, in 
Memphis, Avho could advise me, and give me much valuable 

The next day I conferred with some of the persons whom 
he had mentioned, and having become thoroughly posted, I 
began to prepare for my departure. My friend, the Federal 
lieutenant, whose attentions had been getting more and more 
ardent every day, was, or pretended to be, very much cut up 
when he heard that I intended to leave. I promised, however, 
to write to him so soon as I arrived in New York, — having 
given him to understand that that city was my immediate 
destination, — and intimated that I might possibly correspond 
regularly. He, in return for the very slight encouragement 
which I gave to his hopes that we might meet again when 
the fighting was all over, procured for me a pass and trans- 
portation from General Washburn,, and off I started, leaving 
Memphis, where I was liable at any time to be recognized, 
and consequently get into trouble, with but little regret. As 
for the lieutenant, I certainly appreciated his attentions to me, 
but I thought that any heart pangs he might feel at parting 


would scarcely be so severe that he would not be able to 
recover from them in course of time. 

My first object was to see my brother, to give him such 
assistance as 1 was able, and to discover whether I could not 
do something towards having him released. I had not seen 
him for a number of years, and, as the reader will remember, 
had only learned of his being in the Confederate army some 
little time before my second marriage. He was the only 
relative I had in the country, and I felt very anxious about 
him, fearing greatly that he might be sick, or suffering for 
some of the necessities of life. I therefore pushed forward 
as rapidly as I could, and made no stoppage of any moment 
until I reached Louisville, Kentucky, where I took a room at 
the Gait House, and communicated with a Mr. B., a gentle- 
man whose name had been given me as one in whom I could 
confide, and to whom I could appeal in case I was in need 
of assistance. 

A Mysterious Friend of the Confederacy. 

I told Mr. B. who I was, and what was my errand, and 
informing him that I was short of funds, asked whether he 
could not do something for me. He said he would make an 
effort in my behalf, and accordingly a gentleman, who declined 
to tell me his name, but who said that he was a Confederate, 
called that evening to see me at my I'oom. He was greatly 
afraid of being seen with me ; and before he would leave, after 
we had finished our conversation, I had to go out into the hall, 
and down as far as the stairway, to see that all was quiet, and 
no one looking, before he would venture out. 

We had a long talk about, not only my immediate errand in 
behalf of my brother, but about the political and military 
situation generally. As Mr. B, had told me that I could trust 
him implicitly, I had no hesitation in informing him, that 
after having seen my brother, and made an effort to procure 
his release, my intention was to operate as a secret service 
agent, as I had had considerable experience in that line of 
duty. I did not think it necessary or proper to entertain him 
with a recital of the enterprises in which I had been engaged, 
but told him just enough about myself to let him understand 
that my pretensions were genuine, and that I really meant 
business. He, for his part, posted me very thorouglily about 
the best method of going to work, not only for procuring the 


release of my brother, but for picking up information of value 
to the Confederate authorities, and gave me the names of a 
number of persons in New York and Washington, as well as 
in the West, with whom it would be well for me to become 
acquainted as early as possible. He also gave me hints of 
various enterprises, of more or less consequence, that were on 
foot, and assured me that I could be of the greatest service 
to the cause if I would co-operate with the Confederate agents 
at the North. 

Before taking his leave, he suggested that I should retire 
early, and be ready to go by the first train in the morning, 
and said that he would see that I was provided with funds. 
The name of this gentleman I could never discover, although 
I had considerable curiosity on the subject. He was very 
much of an enthusiast on the subject of the Confederacy, and 
was evidently an efficient secret worker for the cause ; but he 
was either excessively timid, or else he believed that he could 
do more to advance the interest of the cause by being, as far 
as practicable, unknown even to those with whom he co- 

Early the next morning I was awakened by a knock on my 
door, and some one outside asked if I was going on the early 
train. I replied that I was, and hastened to dress myself for 
the journey. As I was dressing, I was somewhat startled to 
see a large envelope on the floor, which must either have been 
pushed under the door or thrown in over the transom during 
the night. On opening the envelope I found in it five hundred 
dollars in greenbacks, and letters to a couple of persons in 
Columbus, Ohio. This money was very acceptable, for I had 
very little cash with me, and it enabled me to resume my 
travels with a mind comparately free from care. 

Before leaving Louisville, however, I managed to get rid 
of some of my cash, for, as I was about starting for the 
train, I met a Confederate army friend, Lieutenant H,, with 
whom I had a hurried conversation. He informed me that 
he was an escaped prisoner, and was endeavoring to make his 
way South, hoping to be able to get within the Confederate 
lines before being discovered. I gave him some advice about 
the best method of proceeding ; and as I knew that he was. 
short of funds, or most likely would be before he got among 
his friends again, I pressed fifteen dollars upon him, for which 
he was overwhelmingly grateful. 

I got off on the early train, in accordance with the under- 


stanrlinc; with my unknown friend of the evening before, and 
in due time arrived at Cokmabus, Ohio, and took a room at the 
Neil House. Plere I felt tolerably secure, as no one knew me, 
and I was sufficiently far away from the seat of war to come 
and go as I chose without rendering myself liable to suspi- 

I concluded, before delivering the letters I had received in 
Louisville, that I would try and see what my own unaided 
efforts would do for my brother. I therefore, the next day, 
called upon the general in command, — I have forgotten his 
name, — and introducing myself, said, that if it was allowable, 
I would like very much to visit that rebel brother of mine. 

The general asked me if I had a brother in the prison; and 
I told him tliat such was unfortunately the case, but that, 
notwithstanding he was on the wrong side, I could not help 
having an affection for him, and was desirous of assisting 
him in case he should be in need. 

The general asked me a number of questions about myself 
and my brother, in answer to which I gave him to understand 
that I was from New York, was a strong Unionist, and had only 
recently heard ^at my brother was a prisoner, although I was 
aware that he mid entered the rebel army shortly after the 
breaking out of the war. Having satisfied himself that I was 
all right, the general, Avithout hesitation, gave me the desired 
permit, and, with a profusion of thanks, I bowed myself out 
of his presence. 

On reaching the Todd Barracks, where the prisoners were 
confined, I found a one-armed major in command. He was 
very polite indeed, and entered into quite a conversation with 
me, during whicli he told me that he had lost bis arm in the 
Mexican war. When my brother came, the major gave us his 
own private room, so that we might talk together without 
fear of interruption. 

Meeting with my Brother. 

My meeting with my brother was a most affectionate one. 
It had been a very long time since we had seen each other, 
and there was much that each of us had to say. I disclosed 
to him part of my plans, and instructed him how to talk and 
act towards me. He was to call me his Union sister, and was 
to speak of mo as a New Yorker. I expressed considerable 
hope that I would be able to effect his release, and stated that 


I would go on to Washington for the purpose, if necessary, 
and see the president and secretary of war. 

This proceeding, however, I found to be unnecessary, for 
Governor Brough, of Ohio, a hearty, pleasant-spoken, and good- 
natured old gentleman, happened to be stopping at the same 
hotel with me, and I contrived to obtain an introduction to 
him. I cultivated the acquaintance of the governor with con- 
siderable assiduity, and he took quite a fancy to me,. so much 
so, that he promised to use his influence to obtain a parole for 
my brother. This promise the governor kept, and in a short 
time the prisoner was released and ordered to proceed East, 
and to report first to General Cadwalader, at Philadelphia, 
and then to General Dix, at New York, the idea being that he 
was to remain with me in the last-named city. 

In company with my brother, therefore, I proceeded East, 
and went to New York, where I left him, while I went on to 
Washington, for the purpose of seeing what could be done 
in the way of aiding the Confederate cause by a series of 
operations at the Federal capital. 



New Scenes and new Associations. — My first Visit to the North. — Tlie 
Weahh and Prosperity of the North contrasted with the Poverty and 
Desolation of the South. — Much of the northern Prosperity fictitious. 

— The anti-war Party and its Strength. — How some of the People of 
the North made Money during the War. — " Loyal " Blockade-runners 
and Smugglers. — Confederate Spies and Emissaries in tlie government 
Offices. — The Opposition to the Draft. — The bounty-jumping Frauds. 

— My Connection with them. — Operations of the Confederate Secret 
Service Agents. — Other Ways of fighting the Enemy than by Battles 
in the Field. — I arrange a Plan of Operations, and place myself in 
communication with the Confederate Authorities at Richmond, and also 
witii Federal Officials at Washington and elsewhere. — I abandon 
Fighting for Strategy. 

"WAS now introduced to entirely new scenes, 
new associations, and a new sphere of activity. 
I had never before been farther north than Wash- 
ington, and my visit to the Federal capital was 
the hasty and secret one made shortly after the 
battle of Ball's Bluff, the particulars of which 
are recorded in a previous chapter. It was almost 
like going into another world to pass from the war- 
worn Confederacy to the rich and prosperous states 
which adhered to the Federal government ; and, when 
I saw the evidences of apparently inexhaustible wealth around 
me, and contrasted them in my mind with what I Avas leaving 
behind in the yet unconquered Confederacy, I confess that my 
heart began to fail, and I despaired of the cause more than I 
had ever done before. 

In a great portion of the South the towns and villages 
were few and far between, the forests large and dense, the 
population thin and scattering, while the most imposing of the 
Southern cities were far less splendid than New York and 


384 IN THE enemy's country. 

Philadelphia, and such prosperity as they had at one time 
enjoyed was now all but destroyed, through the rigidness of 
the Federal blockade. Back of the Northern cities, too, was 
a rich, highly cultivated, and thickly populated country, with 
numerous large towns, abounding in wealth, and with appar- 
ently as many men at home, attending to the ordinary duties 
of life, as if there was no war going on, and no huge armies 
in the field. 

Not only was there no blockade to put an end to commerce, 
and to cause a deprivation of many of the necessaries of life, 
but commerce, as well as all manner of home industries, had 
been greatly stimulated ; so that the war — while it was starv- 
ing the South, and forcing the male population into the field, 
until there were scarcely left enough to carry on absolutely 
needful trade and tillage — actually appeared to be making the 
North rich, and thousands of people were literally coining 
money with government contracts, and by means of innu- 
merable industries brought into being by the great conflict. 

The Strength of the Federals. 

The subjugation of the South was therefore simply a ques- 
tion of time, if matters continued as they were, and the Fed- 
erals would achieve the ends they had in view by sheer force 
of numbers and practically inexhaustible resources, no matter 
how valiantly the Confederate soldiers might fight, or how 
skilfully they might be led. Was this subjugation of the 
South inevitable, however? This was the question that ad- 
dressed itself to my mind, and upon the determination of 
which the course it would be best for me to pursue in the 
future would have to depend. 

I was not very long in coming to the conclusion that a 
triumph of the Confederate cause was not by any means an 
impossibility, provided the right means were used to bring it 
about. I also speedily satisfied myself that the interests of 
the cause could be advanced just as much by diligent and 
zealous workers at the North, as by the men who were fight- 
ing the battles of the Confederacy in Virginia, Georgia, Ten- 
nessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas ; and 1 was so well con- 
vinced that at last I had found the best field for the exercise 
of my own peculiar talents, that I greatly regretted not hav- 
ing made my way into the midst of the enemy's country long 


For very nearly a year now I had done very little that was 
at all satisfactory to myself, or at all really helpful — that is, 
helpful in a large and positive way — to the Confederate 
cause ; whereas, all this time I might have been carrying on 
a series of important operations at the North. It looked, 
indeed, like a great waste of time ; hut, if it was wasted, I 
resolved to do my best to redeem it, by the activity of my 
performances in the future ; and I had great reason to hope 
that these performances would be productive of not unimpor- 
tant results. 

It required but a slight acquaintance with the condition of 
affairs to discover that the surface indications of wealth, pros- 
perity, and overpowering strength at the North were delu- 
sive. The North certainly was wealthy and powerful ; but, 
unfortunately for the Federal government's efforts to conquer 
the South, and to put a speedy end to the war, the people 
were very far from being united. 

United Public Sentiment at the South. 

At the South there were few, if any, genuine adherents of 
the Federal government, and public opinion was united on 
the subject of achieving independence. At the period of 
which I am writing — the winter of 1863-64 — there may 
have been, and doubtless were, many persons who were 
heartily tired of the war, and who would have been glad of 
peace on almost any terms. The vast majority, however, 
were still in flwor of fighting the thing out, in spite of pov- 
erty, and in spite of the privations of every kind which they 
were compelled to suffer. 

At the North, on the other hand, the majority of the people 
had entered upon the war with reluctance ; many who did go 
into it with considerable enthusiasm, with the idea of pre- 
serving the Union, were disgusted when it became day by 
day more apparent that the emancipation of the slaves was a 
part of the policy of the government ; many who went into it 
for the sake of seeing some fighting were heartily tired, and 
wanted to stop ; and many more, who were eager enough to 
begin a fight, simply out of animosity to the Southerners,, 
sickened of the thing when their pockets were touched by 
the enormous advance in prices, and by the heavy taxes which 
the prolongation of the contest necessitated, and were quite 
willing for peace at almost any price. 


In addition to these elements of discord, there was a large, 
influential, powerful, and wealthy anti-war party, composed of 
people who were, and always had been, opposed to the war, 
and who numbered among them many who were not only 
opposed to the war, but who were warm and earnest friends 
of the South. These latter believed that the government had 
no right to coerce States which desired to leave the Union 
to remain in it, and they were bitterly antagonistic to any and 
all attempts to subjugate the South, and did everything in 
their power to baffle the efforts of the government to carry 
on the war efficiently. These people constantly aided, with 
their money and their influence, the Confederate agents who 
were working and scheming for the advancement of their 
cause at the North, and did a great deal to embarrass the 
Federal government. 

Besides these, there were a great number of weak-kneed, 
or indiff"erent people, who had no opinions of their own worth 
speaking of, and whose chief anxiety was to be on the win- 
ning side. These were for the war or against it, as the tide 
of battle turned in favor of the Federals or the Confederates. 
The news of a tremendous defeat inflicted on the Confed- 
erates, or of the capture of an important position, would 
excite their enthusiasm, and make them talk loudly of fighting 
the thing out until the rebels were whipped ; while a season 
of prolonged inactivity, or a succession of Confederate vic- 
tories, caused them to look gloomily on the situation, and to 
suggest that there had been about enough fighting, that it was 
about time prices were coming down a little, and that as the 
war had been going on so long, without any practical results, 
there was not much use in killing more men and spending 
more money, when there was no more chance this year than 
there was last of a speedy end to the contest. In this class 
the Confederates found many allies. 

The Presidential Campaign. 

At the time of my arrival at the North the anti-war party 
was concentrating its strength for the approaching presiden- 
tial campaign, and many men who were prominent in it were 
decidedly confident that the next election would place a 
president in the White House, whose views about the proper 
policy to be pursued toAvards the South would be radically 
difi^erent from those of Mr. Lincoln. If an anti-war president 


could bo elected, — and tlierc were many reasons to believe 
that such a thing would be possible, — a speedy wind-up of 
the war, on terms satisfactory to the Confederates, would 
almost certainly follow his inauguration. 

This being the situation, it was as much for the interest of 
the Richmond government that the political dissensions ex- 
isting within the Federal lines should be kept alive, and the 
success of the anti-war party promoted by every possible 
means, as it was to win victories on the battle-field. Indeed, 
it was much more important ; for victories cost men and 
treasure, which the Confederacy could not well spare, and 
even more was to be gained by fighting the enemy on his 
own ground with the ballot, than there was by shooting him 
on Confederate soil with the bullet. 

It was an important part of the duty of the Confederate 
agents at the North to aid, by every possible means, the 
success of the anti-war party, and to this end they labored 
incessantly and effectively in various ways ; but, outside 
of the field of politics, there was an immense amount of 
highly important work being done, the like of which my 
brief experiences in New Orleans had barely given me a 
hint of- 


Many officials in the government employ were either secret 
service agents of the Confederacy, or were in the pay of 
such. There was not a public building at Washington that 
did not contain a person or persons who was not., only will- 
ing, but eager to do much more than furnish information 
to the commanders of the Confederate armies and to the 
Richmond authorities, as far as it was possible to do so with- 
out placing themselves in peril. In all of the large cities 
were men and women, many of them in government em- 
ploy, who were in constant communication with the Confed- 
erate agents, and in all of them were merchants who Avere 
rapidly growing wealthy by sending goods of all kinds, 
including arms and ammunition, to the South, either by 
having them smuggled through the lines, or by shipping 
them to some neutral port for the purpose of having them 
transferred to blockade-runners. 

Some of these merchants made no pretensions, but sold to 
whoever would buy, having the avowed intention of making 


all the money they could by every safe means. They simply 
asked no questions, but took their cash, and shipped according 
to order. Others were blockade-runners, pure and simple, and 
their only anxiety was to keep their operations concealed 
from the government detectives. 

Millions of dollars' worth of goods, however, were sold for 
the Southern market by men who were loud in their protesta- 
tions of loyalty to the Federal government, who bitterly de- 
nounced the South, in public and in private, who contributed 
largely to aid in carrying on the war, and who enjoyed, in the 
fullest manner, the confidence of the government, and of those 
of their fellow-citizens who honestly believed that the war 
was a just one, 

I will not say that all of these men were hypocrites and 
traitors, for I am confident that very many of them were not. 
Some, however, — and those not the least influential and 
wealthy, — had different opinions about things in general, 
and the war, in particular, in public and in the social circles 
which they frequented, and in their counting-rooms, when 
certain people called on them for the purpose of buying 
goods. They were more than anxious to sell to any one who 
would buy, but in case the buyer was known to be, or was 
suspected of being, a Confederate agent, the question of the 
moment was, to sell without being found out. Of course, 
some of them were detected occasionally, but there was gen- 
erally a Avay to be found for dealing with these gentlemen 
with tender consciences and highly loyal reputations, by 
which their goods could be purchased for cash, and their rep- 
utations spared, at the same time. 

The Conscription. 

Another element in the situation was, the intense opposition 
to the conscription which was going on for the purpose of 
recruiting the armies — the supply of vohmteers having long 
since failed. This opposition, before my arrival at the North, 
had culminated in bloody riots in New York and several other 
places, which caused the greatest alarm, because they indi- 
cated, in a very positive manner, that there was a very large 
disaffected class in the population, which, if excited to take 
up arms, might be able to start anew and formidable rebellion 
within the Federal lines. Many of those, too, who professed 
to iavor the war were opposed to the conscription ; that is, 


they were opposed to being conscripted themselves, although 
they were willing enough that other people should go and do 
their figliting for them. 

The most obnoxious feature of the draft, however, had 
been in a measure overcome b}- the different states, cities, 
and towns offering liberal bounties for men to enlist. In 
this manner most of the quotas were filled, but the pay- 
ment of bounties — a demoralizing proceeding, under any 
circumstances — opened the way for the most sliameless and 
gigantic frauds. The story of the bounty jumping during 
the last two years of the war, is not one that any patriotic 
American citizen can read with complacency or satisfaction, 
and for pure infamy I think tliat it surpasses anything that 
the future historian of the war will be compelled to put 
on record. 

Bounty Jumping and other Frauds. 

I had a good deal to do with these bounty -jumping frauds, 
and with a number of other matters very nearly as bad, — 
or, perhaps, in the opinion of the reader, worse, — and it may 
be thought that I was as culpable as those whom I now de- 
nounce. To those who are only willing to consider such a 
subject as this from one point of view, I have simply nothing 
to say ; but fair-minded persons. North and South, will, how- 
ever, freely admit that my actions as a secret agent of the 
Confederate government arc not to be put in comparison with 
those of the dealers in human flesh and blood, the counterfeit- 
ers, and others who did what they did solely from motives of 
gain. At any rate, acting as I was under orders from the 
only government the authority of which I acknowledged, and 
animated only by an ardent desire to advance the interests 
of the cause which I had espoused, I felt that I was justified 
in embarrassing the enemy by any means in my power, and 
that the kind of warfare which I carried on in the rear of the 
Federal armies was just as legitimate as that which was car- 
ried on face to face with them in the field. 

It was not pleasant for me to be brought into the relations 
I was with some of the most consummate scoundrels who ever 
escaped the gallows or the penitentiary, and it is impossible 
for me to reflect upon some of the features of my career as a 
Confederate secret service agent at the North with anything 
but regret that I should have been forced by circumstances 


to do what I did, or to associate with the men I did. There 
is nothing, however, in this portion of my career that I am 
ashamed of; and. I have no hesitation whatever in giving to 
the world a plain, unadorned statement of the enterprises in 
which I was engaged during the last eighteen months of the 
war. So far as my own performances are concerned, this 
narrative shall be as full and as complete as I can make it; 
and if I fail to go into exact and minute details about certain 
important transactions, it will be simply because I feel that I 
am under obligations not to betray my confederates, no mat- 
ter how unworthy they may have been. To some of these 
people I am under no obligations whatever, and shall conse- 
quently not hesitate to speak plainly concerning them ; but 
witli regard to others, I prefer to err on the honorable side by 
saying too little, rather than to rest under the imputation of 
betraying confidences. 

Aeranging A Plan of Operations. 

It took me some little time, of course, to master the entire 
situation ; but a very brief residence at the North enabled me 
to see that there was a vast amount of most important and 
valuable work to be done within the Federal lines, and that it 
was exactly the kind of Avork that I could do with the very 
best effect. I arranged my plans, therefore, for a series of 
operations in behalf of the Confederate cause, and, at the 
earliest practicable moment, placed myself in communication 
with the Richmond authorities, and with the various secret 
service agents in the Northern States and in Canada, and also 
with Federal officials of various kinds, with whom I desired 
to establish confidential relations, not only for the purpose of 
preventing their suspecting me, but to gain through them 
information otherwise unobtainable. 

Having once established myself on a satisfactory footing 
with those who Avere managing matters at the rival capitals, 
it became a comparatively easy matter to go ahead with some 
degree of boldness, and to follow up a systematic scheme of 
action ; and I flatter myself that, having once gotten fairly 
started, I performed the tasks I undertook with a praise- 
worthy degree of thoroughness, and with not altogether un- 
important results. 

The story of this portion of my career will differ materially 
from that which has preceded it. I have noAV to tell, not of 


battles and sieges, but of stratagems and wiles ; and, as the 
results of warfare are determined even more by strategy than 
by actual hard fighting, I believe that the reader will find the 
ensuing pages equally entertaining with those which have 
preceded them, and probably more so. 



Studying the Situation. — I renew my Acquaintance with old Friends of 
the Federal Army. — Half-formed Plans. — I obtain an Introduction to 
Colonel Lafayette C. Baker, Chief of the United States Secret Service 
Corps. — Colonel Baker and General Winder of the Confederate Secret 
Service compared. — Baker a good Detective Officer, but far inferior to 
Winder as the Head of a Secret Service Department. — I sohcit Employ- 
ment from Baker as a Detective, and am indorsed by my Friend General 
A. — Baker gives a rather indefinite Answer to my Application. — I go 
to New York, and fall in with Confederate Secret Service Agents, who 
employ me to assist them in various Schemes. — Learning the Ropes. — 
I send Intelligence of my Movements to Richmond, and am enrolled 
as a Confederate Agent. — I have several Interviews with Baker, and 
succeed in gaining his Confidence. — Baker's Surprise and Disgust at 
various Times at his Plans leaking out. — The Secret of the Leakage 

|J^ going to Washington I had no very definite 
idea of what I would do, or, indeed, what I 
could do. I was now about to work under dif- 
ferent auspices from any under which I had 
hitherto been placed, and it was necessary for 
me to look around a bit and study the situation. In 
a general sort of way I hoped to get access to the differ- 
ent departments, so that I would be able to find out 
what was going on, and to place myself in communica- 
tion with persons Avho would be able to give me such 
information as I desired. It was also important that I 
should make the acquaintance of, and be on friendly terms 
with, officers of the army and others who would have the 
power to help me in case I wanted to run through the lines, 
or in event of my getting into any trouble through meddling 
with aff"airs that the government might not desire an irrespon- 
sible outsider like myself to know too much about. 

The visit I had paid to the prison where my brother was 
confined, made me think deeply about the privations and suf- 
ferings endured by the brave Southern boys captured on a 



hundred battle-fields, and now in the hands of the Federal 
authorities. The more I thought of tliern the more I was 
moved by an intense desire to do something to secure their 
release; and more than one crude suggestion of a plan for the 
accomplishment of so desirable an end floated through my 
mind, without, however, my being able to decide upon any 
definite method of procedure. 

I hoped, on going to Washington, to find there some one 
with whom I was acquainted, and through whom I might fall 
in with those who could aid me in the execution of my de- 
signs. On my arrival in tlie Federal capital, therefore, I made 
inquiries concerning the prominent officers of the army there, 
thinking that, most probably, I would be able to meet some of 
my military friends of the good old days before the war, and I 
was not long in learning that General A. and Captain 13. were 
both on duty in or near Washington. 

Unconscious Confederates. 

I will remark here, that I designate these gentlemen by the 
two first letters of the alphabet, because I desire to avoid 
giving any clew to their real names. They were both men of 
unimpeachable honor, and, had they suspected in the least 
what my designs really were, I believe that they would 
immediately have procured my arrest, in spite of any private 
friendship they might have had for me. I made use of tliora 
for the furtherance of my plans in the interest of the Confed- 
eracy, but they neither of them, on any occasion, wittingly 
gave me any information that they should not have given. On 
the contrary, they declined to be of any assistance to me in 
visiting the departments or in going to the front, on the plea 
that the stringent rules in force would not permit them to do 
so. I obtained points from them occasionally in conversa- 
tion, for it is impossible for any one, not even a detective or 
a spy, to be as close-mouthed on all occasions as is desirable ; 
but the chief aid which they extended was in introducing 
me to people whom I could use, and in maintaining intimate 
and friendly personal relations with me, by which I was en- 
abled to gain a standing in certain quarters without trouble. 

The general, when I introduced myself to him, appeared to 
be very glad to see me, and asked me iimumerable questions 
about myself, my friends, and my adventures since we last had 
seen each other. I had a plausible story ready to tell him, in 


which fact and fiction were mingled with some degree of skill, 
and expressed myself with considerable bitterness concerning 
the rebels, wishing that I could do something to aid in securing 
a speedy termination of the war by their defeat. After a very 
pleasant intercourse with the general, I parted from him, with 
a request that he would do me the honor to call on me at the 
hotel, which he promised to do. 

The next day 1 met Captain B. in the street, and we ex- 
changed greetings. He, too, promised to call upon me. This 
promise he kept, and I had quite a long talk with him on gen- 
eral topics, preferring to see more of him before attempting to 
make him useful. 

I saw both the general and the captain several times after 
that, and in the course of conversation with one of them, I 
forget which, he happened to say something about Colonel 
Baker which excited my interest, and induced me to make 
particular inquiry concerning him. I had never heard of this 
individual before, but I now speedily learned that he was the 
chief government detective officer, and that he was uncommonly 
expert in hunting down rebel spies, and in putting a stop to 
their performances. I immediately concluded that Colonel 
Baker was a personage whom it was eminently desirable that 
I should become acquainted with at the earliest possible mo- 
ment, and that it would be much more advantageous for me to 
make his acquaintance through the introduction of one of my 
military friends, than through finding him on my track just 
when I had some enterprise for the benefit of the Confederacy 
in process of consummation. 

Whichever of the two it was that I had my original conver- 
sation with about Baker, it was the general who made me ac- 
quainted with him, and who spoke of me in such a manner as 
to put me in the good graces of this terrible man at the start. 

Getting Acquainted with Detective Baker. 

Colonel Lafayette C. Baker occupied at Washington a some- 
what similar position to that held by General Winder at Rich- 
mond, although he scarcely had the large powers and exten- 
sive authority of the chief of the Confederate secret service 
department. In fact. Colonel Baker was a detective officer 
more than anything else, and he had comparatively little to do 
with military matters. The chief employment of himself and 
his assistants was to hunt down offenders of all kinds ; and he 


was much more successful in this than he was in procurin.^ 
information for the use of the war department, altliough he 
prided himself considerably on his own performances as a spy, 
and upon several not unsuccessful secret service expeditions 
into the Confederacy that had been made by his directions, 
and in accordance with his plans. 

I confess that I came into the presence of so formidable an 
individual with some degree of trepidation ; but I very soon 
learned to regard him as not half so ferocious as lie looked, 
and as very far from being as difficult and dangerous a per- 
sonage to deal with as he was made out to be. There is 
nothing like having a reputation for ferocity, and other terri- 
ble qualities, if you want to make people afraid of you, and 
Colonel Baker's reputation — how gained it would be some- 
what difficult to tell — did him good service in exciting terror 
among those who were disposed to do things which it might 
not be pleasant for a government detective to find out. 

Colonel Baker differed as much from General Winder in 
appearance as he did in other respects. Winder was a far 
more highly educated man, and he had all that peculiar polish 
of manners that can only be attained by education, and by 
constant association with refined and educated people. He 
was a rather imposing looking man, too, and a casual acquaint- 
ance with him was calculated to leave tlio impression that he 
was a very pleasant and good-natured old gentleman. Under 
his smooth exterior, however, was a deep scheming and far- 
reaching mind, and a hard and cruel disposition, and he was a 
much more dangerous individual to fall into the ill graces of 
than Baker. Baker was a man who, under some circumstances, 
I miglit have taken a genuine liking to ; but the more I saw 
of Winder the less I liked him, and the more I was afraid of 

Baker's Appearance and Character. 

Baker was a tolerably fair-looking man, after a certain 
fashion. He was a returned Californian, having resided in San 
Francisco for a number of years before the war, and having 
been a member of the famous vigilance committee which made 
such short work with the rogues of that city in 1856. He had 
the bronzed face and the wiry frame of a western pioneer, and 
his manners were marked by a good deal of far-western 
brusqueness. His hair was dark and thick, and he wore a full 
and rather heavy beard ; but his eyes were the most expressive 


feature of his face. These were a cold gray, and they had a 
peculiarly sharp and piercing expression, especially when he 
was talking on business. He also had a particularly sharp and 
abrupt manner of speaking at times ; and more than once, 
when I have had reason to think that he might have knowledge 
of some of my transactions as a Confederate secret service 
agent, 1 have felt cold creeps all over me as he looked me 
straight in the eyes and spoke in that cutting tone of voice he 
was in the habit of using on occasions. 

Colonel Baker was, in my opinion, a first-rate detective of- 
ficer, and nothing more ; for something more is necessary in 
the chief of a secret service department in time of war than to 
be a good hand at hunting down offenders. Give him a definite 
object to go for, and a very slight clew, and he would, in the 
majority of cases, accomplish a creditable piece of work. He 
had, however, very little skill in starting enterprises for him- 
self General Winder, in his place, would have made Wash- 
ington a much more uncomfortable residence for Confederate 
spies and agents than it was during the war ; and the fact that 
I was able to play double with the colonel, as I did for nearly a 
year and a half, and to carry on, as I did, a number of impor- 
tant operations on behalf of the Confederacy, so to speak, 
under his very nose, was not very creditable to him, all the 
circumstances being taken into consideration. 

Colonel Baker, however, was not without his good qualities, 
even if he was far from being as great a personage as he 
thought he was. He was stern and severe, but he was a 
kinder man at heart than General Winder, although he lacked 
the intellectual attainments of the Confiederate officer. With 
regard to the relative honesty of the two, it is perhaps as well 
that I should express no opinion. 

Application for a Position in the Federal Secret Service. 

On being introduced to Colonel Baker by General A., I 
asked him if he could not give me a position in his detective 
corps in some capacity, explaining as my reason for making 
such a request that, having lost everything through the rebel- 
lion, I was in urgent need of o1)taining some remunerative 
employment by which I could support myself In the course 
of the conversation with him, I told pretty much the same 
story that I had to the Federal officers at Memphis. I was of 
Spanish extraction, and all of my friends and relatives were 

baker's caution. 397 

either in Spain or Cuba. My husband, wlio was a United 
States army officer, — this I put in for the sake of obtaining 
the corroboration of my friend, the general, wlio had been 
acquainted with my first husband, but who apparently was 
not aware of the fact that he was in the Confederate service 
at the time of his death, — had died about the outbreak of the 
war, and I had been plundered, and otherwise so badly treated 
by the rebels, that I had been compelled to come North, where 
I had resided for a considerable period, but without being able 
to do much in the way of supporting myself I was well 
acquainted throughout the South, having travelled a great 
deal, and having met a great many prominent people, and I 
did not doubt but that I possessed much information that 
would be of value to the government, and believed that I 
could obtain more, as I thought that I had talents which would 
enable me to do good service either as a spy or simply as a 

In the course of a somewhat lengthy conversation with 
Colonel Baker, I expressed myself with considerable bitter- 
ness with regard to the rebels, and the treatment I professed 
to hav^c received at their hands, and endeavored to impress 
him with the idea that I was quite as anxious to engage in 
spy duty for the purpose of being revenged on them, as for 
the cash I expected to earn by the faithful performance of the 
particular tasks which might be assigned me. 

Baker asked me a good many questions — not particularly 
skilful ones it seemed to me — about myself, my family, how 
long I had been at the North, what induced me to take up 
with the idea of joining the secret service corps, what 
employment I had hitherto been engaged in, and a variety of 
other matters. To his interrogatories I replied promptly, and 
with seeming frankness, and I left his presence tolerably confi- 
dent that he believed all I had told him, and that I had made 
a good impression. As for the general, he seemed to be 
deeply impressed, and advocated my cause strongly, urging 
Baker to give me an engagement without further delay. The 
colonel, however, was cautious — he would see about it ; he 
would talk further with me on the subject ; he did not know 
that he had anything he could give me to do just at present, 
but he might have need of me shortly, and would let me know 
when he wanted me, and all that sort of thing. 

After we left, the general promised to speak to the colonel 


again, and said he thought he could induce him to give me 
an engagement, but that, at any rate, he would try. 

This interview with Colonel Baker convinced me that he 
was the man to begin with, if I wanted to get admission 
behmd the scenes at Washington, and if I wanted to execute 
any really masterly coup at the North in behalf of the Con- 
federacy. As a member of his corps, I would not only be able 
to do many things that would be impossible otherwise, but I 
would have ample opportunities for finding out a good many 
things that were going on, with regard to which the world at 
large was happily ignorant. As for Baker himself, I made 
up my mind that he was an individual wise in his own esteem, 
but with no comprehensive ideas, whom it would not be 
difficult to fool to the top of his bent. All that it would be 
necessary for me to do, in case he employed me, would be the 
performance of some real, or apparently real services for him, 
to secure his fullest confidence, while at the same time I could 
carry on my real work to the very best advantage. 

Having waited about Washington for a week or two, without 
hearing anything from Colonel Baker, and the general having 
told me that there was no chance for me just at present, I 
decided to return to New York, as I thought, from a hint 
given me in a letter from my brother, that I might be able to 
commence operations there. I resolved, however, to cultivate 
Baker's acquaintance at the earliest opportunity, but thought 
that perhaps it would be best not to trouble him again until I 
Lad some definite scheme to propose. 


When I reached New York, and saw my brother, he was 
expecting every day to be exchanged ; and he told me that he 
had been visited by several Confederate agents, who wanted 
him to try and carry some documents through when he went 
South. He was afraid, however, to attempt anything of this 
kind, and, besides, did not think that it would be honorable 
under the circumstances. Without saying anything about my 
plans to him, therefore, I went and saw the agents in question, 
told them who I was, referred them to people who knew me in 
the West, and in a general way disclosed to them my schemes 
for aiding the Confederacy. I did not, however, tell them 
about my interview with Colonel Baker, or that I had the 


intention of becoming an employee of his. This, I tliought, 
was a matter I had best keep to myself for the present, for 
fear of accident. 

These agents were exceedingly glad to see me, and had 
sevei'al jobs of work cut out which they were anxious that I 
should attend to. They did not strike me as being very 
important, but I thought that they would do to begin with, 
and that they would aid me in becoming acquainted witli the 
Confederate working force in the North. I, therefore, promised 
to give them my aid so soon as my brother should leave for 
the South. 

They then evinced a- great eagerness to have me persuade 
my brother to carry some despatches through ; but I said that 
it Avould be useless to ask him, and that the most I could 
expect of him was, that he would take a verbal message from 
myself to the officials who knew me in Richmond, to the 
effect that I was at the North, endeavoring to aid the Con- 
federate cause by every means in my power, and filled with 
zeal to do whatever was to be done. It required considerable 
persuasion to induce my brother to do even this much, but 
finally, to my great satisfaction, he consented. 

Secret Service Operations. 

Shortly after this my brother went South on a cartel of 
exchange, and in due time I received information that my 
message had been delivered, and that I was recognized as a 
Confederate secret service agent. 

In the mean while I made a large number of acquaintances 
among the adherents of both the Federal and Confederate 
governments, and did a great deal of work of one kind or 
another. None of my performances, however, for several 
months were of sufficient importance to warrant special 
mention in these pages, and their chief value to mo was, that 
they kept me employed, and taught me what kind of work 
there was to do, and how to do it. During this time I visited 
Washington frequently, and always made it a point to see 
Colonel Baker, to whom I furnished a number of bits of infor- 
mation, the majority of which were of no particular value to 
him, although several were of real importance, and aided him 
materially in his effort to break up certain fraudulent practices, 
and to bring the rogues to justice. 

400 HOW baker's confidence was gained. 

By this means I retained his favor, and succeeded in 
gaining his confidence to a degree that the reader will 
probably think rather astonishing, considering my antecedents, 
and the kind of work that I was engaged in sub rosa. It 
should be borne in mind, however, that Baker did not know, 
and could not know, anything of my previous history ; that I 
had been highly recommended to him, and that I was con- 
stantly i3roving useful to him. Wherein he failed in astute- 
ness, was in permitting me to carry on the peculiar operations 
I did, almost under his eyes, and to make use of him, and 
of the machinery of his office, for the accomplishment of my 

At each succeeding interview I could see that Baker was 
becoming more and more favorably impressed with me, and I 
did not doubt that I would finally succeed in securing him as 
an unconcious ally of myself and my co-workers: 

My grand opportunity at length did arrive, and the cunning 
secret service chief fell into the trap laid for him as innocent- 
ly and unsuspectingly as if he had never heard of such a 
thing as a spy in his life. The colonel, as I have before re- 
marked, was not a bad sort of a fellow in his way ; and as I 
had a sincere regard for him, I am sorry he is not alive now, 
that he might be able to read this narrative, and so learn how 
completely he was taken in, and by a woman, too. He was a 
smart man, but not smart enough for all occasions. 

One of Baker's Grievances. 

I have heard Colonel Baker frequently complain bitterly 
of the manner in which so many of his neatly laid plans were 
revealed to the very persons whom he was most anxious 
should know nothing about them, almost as soon as they were 
arranged ; and I have endeavored to console him, and to sug- 
gest reasons for the phenomena, but was never able to quite 
make him understand the mystery. The reader of this narra- 
tive will know, as Colonel Baker never was able to, why some 
of his arrangements for capturing certain people who were 
making themselves troublesome to the government which he 
represented came to nothing; and it is to be hoped that 
other detectives, who are wise in their own conceit, will be 
edified by the revelations herein made. 

In the chapters immediately following, I will relate the 
particulars of a series of operations, which, in many respects, 


were the most important of my career. The grand scheme 
which I laboieJ to promote was a failure, but the work which 
I was assigned to do, in connection with it, was thoroughly 
well done, and, had the others performed their part as well as 
I performed mine, the ending of the war would probably have 
been very dillerent from what it was. It would, however, 
scarcely have been possible for me to have worked with the 
signal efficiency 1 did, had I not secured the aid of Colonel 
Baker; and, that the chief detective officer of the Federal 
government should have been induced, unconsciously and 
unsuspectingly, to assist a rebel enterprise of the dangerous 
character of this one, was one of the most curious of the 
many curious things that happened during the war. 

Before embarking in this enterprise, I succeeded in making 
the acquaintance of a number of influential people in Wash- 
ington and elsewhere, and was engaged in operations of no 
little importance, the recital of which will, I think, prove 
both entertaining and edifying to the public, as it will show 
what consummate scoundrels were filling higli places under 
the Federal government during the war, and how tlie people 
who believed the w^ar to be a just one, and were making every 
sacrifice to carry it on, were betrayed by some of these most 
trusted servants. 

As these operations, however, were connected with others 
of a much later date, I will, in order not to break the thread 
of my story, defer narrating them at present, merely stating 
here that the detection of the gigantic frauds that were being 
perpetrated was one of the most creditable events of Colonel 
Baker's career. I say this, notwithstanding that I was work- 
ing against him at the time, and was implicated in the trans- 
actions alluded to. M}" position with regard to these matters 
was very diSerent from that of the men with wdiom I co- 
operated. I did certain things, and w^ould do them again 
under similar circumstances, because I think that in time of 
war it is right and proper to take every advantage of the 
enemy ; but I had so little regard for my chief associates, that, 
although I took good care to keep out ©f Baker's sight, and 
had no desire to have him capture me, I could not help wish- 
ing, wdien I heard that he had his clutches on tliem, that he 
would succeed in having them punished according to their 

It was most discreditable in certain of the principal officers 
of the government, and in certain members of Congress, that 


these people were permitted to have such opportunities for 
wholesale swindling, and that after they were detected, they 
were not only not brought to punishment, but some of them 
were even continued in office. Colonel Baker was indignant, 
and justly so, that his efforts were brought to nought through 
the interference of politicians, who were more afraid of having 
discredit brought on the party they represented, by the 
exposures which he made of corruption and scoundrelism in 
high places, than they were solicitous for honesty and effi- 
ciency in the administration of some of the most important 
affairs of the government. Baker was not only interfered 
with, and his plans balked, but his opponents even went so 
far as to persecute him, by bringing a charge of conspiracy, 
and by compelling him to defend himself in the courts. 

I have known Colonel Baker to do some things that were 
scarcely defensible, but, with regard to this matter, I have the 
best means of knowing that he was entirely in the right, and 
that, had he been permitted to do as he wished, he would have 
effectually stopped rascalities of the worst kind, and have 
performed services that would have entitled him to the lasting 
gratitude of his countrymen. It was utterly disgraceful that 
he should have been subjected to persecutions for doing his 
simple duty, especially as his investigations were commenced, 
and for a considerable time carried on, at the instance of the 
very men who turned upon him so soon as his labors threat- 
ened to create a public scandal that might be disadvantageous 
to the political prospects of some of them. They were will- 
ing enough to hunt down, and to punish rascality, so long as 
they and their friends were not injured in any way, but so 
soon as Baker began to prove himself in earnest, and deter- 
mined to bring the rascals to justice, no matter who might be 
hurt, the very men who had secured his services turned upon 
him, took sides with the rogues, and did their best to destroy 



An Attack on the Rear of the Enemy in Contemplation. — The Difficulties 
in the Way of its Execution. — What it was expected to accomphsh. — 
The Federals to be placed between two Fires. — I have an Interview with 
Colonel Baker, and propose a Trip to Richmond. — He assents, and fur- 
nishes me with Passes and Means to make the Journey. — I run through 
the Lines, and reach Richmond in Safety. — I return by a roundabout 
Route, laden with Despatches, Letters, Commercial Orders, Money 
Drafts, and other valuable Documents. — I am delayed in Baltimore, and 
fall short of Money. — The Difficulties I had in getting my Purse filled. 
— Sickness. — I visit Lewes, Delaware, and deliver Instructions to a 
Blockade Runner. — On reaching New York I learn that a Detective is 
after me. — I start for Canada, and meeting the Detective in the Cars, 
• strike up an Acquaintance with him. He shows me a Photograph sup- 
posed to be of myself, and tells me what his Plans are. — The Detective 
baffled, and my safe Arrival in Canada. — Hearty Welcome by the Con- 
federates there. — I transact my Business and prepare to return. 

MAGNIFICENT scheme was on foot during 
the summer and fall of 1864, for making an 
attack upon the enemy in the rear, which, if it 
had been carried out with skill and determina- 
tion might have given a very different ending 
to the war. As it was, the very inefficient 
attempt that was made created an excitement that 
almost amounted to a panic, and seemed to show how 
effective a really well-directed blow, such as was in- 
^^ tended, would have been. Such schemes as this, how- 
ever, are always extremely difficult of execution, and this 
one was particularly so, on account of the necessity which 
existed for the most profound secrecy in all the movements, 
up to the very moment when the blow was to be struck. A 
large extent of country was to be operated upon, several 
distinct movements, of equal importance, were to be carried 
on at the same time, the failure of any one of which would 
imperil everything, and a neutral soil was to be the base of 



That a considerable number of persons should be informed 
of the essential points of the proposed campaign could not be 
avoided, and, of course, each person admitted to the secret 
diminished the chances of it being kept ; for, even were trai- 
tors less plenty than they usually are, the fact that we were 
arranging our plans and making our preparations in the midst 
of enemies, or of half-hearted friends, rendered it scarcely 
within the range of possibility that some unlucky word or 
indiscreet expression would not give some one a hint of what 
was going on, and enable preparations to meet the attack to 
be made. 

Besides all this, two great difficulties in the way of success 
existed. There was no thoroughness of organization, — it 
was impossible, under the circumstances, that there should 
have been, — and there was no recognized leader whose 
authority was admitted by all, and who had the direction 
of all the movements. 

The " Copperheads." 

The blow, therefore, was to be, to a very great extent, a 
random one, struck in the dark, and with no assurances what- 
ever that the results expected from it would follow. We were 
utterly unable to tell how much we could count on in the way 
of active assistance from the Southern sympathizers, or " Cop- 
perheads," as they were called. For my own part, I did not 
rely greatly upon anything they could or would do, and am 
now very well satisfied that it was a piece of supreme folly to 
have expected anything from them. 

These people were really traitors both to the South and the 
North, and in the long run they did the cause of the Confed- 
eracy far more harm than they did it good. They professed 
to believe that the South was right, and yet they were not 
willing to take up arms for her, or, with very few excep- 
tions, to do anything practical for her that would render 
themselves liable to get into the least trouble with the 
Federal government. They annoyed the government by 
their captious criticisms of all its actions, by opposing the 
prosecution of the war in every way that they could with 
safety to themselves, and by loud expressions of Southern 
sympathy. All they accomplished, however, was a prolonga- 
tion of the war, and the disfranchisement of nearly tlie entire 
white population of the South after the war was ended ; for 


to them, more than to the Southenicrs themselves, was due 
the imposition of the hard terms which were the price of 
peace. To the " Copperheads," therefore, as a class, the 
South owe little or nothing ; and, according to my view, they 
were the kind of friends that people in difficulties had best 
be without. 

The Projected Attack by "Way of the Lakes. 

The great scheme to which I have alluded was no less than 
an attack upon the country bordering upon the great lakes ; 
the release of the Confederate prisoners cgnfined at Johnson's 
Island in Lake Erie, near Sandusky, Ohio, and at other local- 
ities ; their organization into an army, which was to engage 
in the work of devastating the country, burning the cities and 
towns, seizing upon forts, arsenals, depots, and manufiictories 
of munitions of war, for the purpose of holding them, if prac- 
ticable, or of destroying them ; and, in fine, of creating such a 
diversion in their rear as would necessitate the withdrawal 
of a large force from the front. 

A Diversion in the Rear op the Enemy. 

It "was expected, in event of the success of the plan, that 
the Federal forces would be placed between two fires, and 
that the commanders of the Confederate armies in the South 
and in the North would be able between them to crush the 
enemy, and dictate terms of peace, or at least give a new 
phase to the war, by transferring it from the impoverished and 
desolated South to the rich, prosperous, and fertile North. As 
I have before stated, much reliance was felt by many on 
obtaining something more than mere S3'^mpathy from the 
" Copperheads." I, for one, however, had no great expecta- 
tions that any considerable number of recruits would be 
gained on Northern soil, and founded my hopes more on the 
personal efforts of true and tried Southern men, than upon 
assistance of any kind from those who were not closely 
identified with Southern interests. 

While the plans for the proposed grand attack in the rear 
was maturing, I was asked to attempt a trip to Richmond, and 
consented without hesitation. I was to consult with, and 
receive final instructions from the Richmond authorities, with 
regard to the proposed raid on the lake shores, and was also to 


attend to a variety of commercial and other matters, and 
especially to obtain letters and despatches for Canada. 

Now was my time to make use of Colonel Baker; and I 
accordingly resolved to see what I could do with him, with- 
out more delay. Having received my papers and instruc- 
tions, therefore, I went to Washington, and called on the 
colonel, who received me as politely as he had been in the 
habit of doing of late, and asked what he could do for me ; 
for he saw, by my manner, that I had some definite project 
on hand, and began to believe that I really meant serious 

In order to understand the situation from Colonel Baker's 
point of view, it may be necessary to state, that more than 
once rumors that attempts to liberate the Confederate prison- 
ers were to be made, had been in circulation, and that Baker, 
as I knew, was exceedingly anxious to effect the arrest of 
some of the more active of the Confederate agents engaged in 
this and similar schemes. 

A Confidential Talk with Baker. 

I told him, therefore, that I had obtained information to the 
effect that a noted Confederate spy had been captured, and 
was now in one of the prisons, from whence he could doubt- 
less find means to communicate with Confederates outside. 
My proposition was that I should go to Richmond, where, by 
passing myself off as a Confederate among people with whom 
I was acquainted, I would not only, in all probability, suc- 
ceed in finding out exactly who this man was, and where he 
was, but what he and his confederates were trying to do. I 
suggested, also, that I could most likely pick up other informa- 
tion of sufficient value to pay for whatever the trip would cost 
the government. 

When I had explained what I proposed to do, Baker said, 
" I am afraid if you attempt to run through the lines the rebs 
will capture you ; if they do, they will use you rough." 

I replied, " I am not afraid to take the risk if you will only 
give me the means of making the trip, and attend to getting 
me through the Federal lines." 

" It will be a troublesome thing to get you through our 
lines," said Baker, " for it don't do to let everybody know 
what is going on when a bit of business like this is on hand ; 
and, after you pass our lines you will have to get through 


those of the rebels, and that you will find no easy job, I can 
tell yon, for they are getting more and more suspicious and 
particular ever}- day." 

" 0, as for that," said I, " I can, if it is necessary to do so, 
go to Havana, where my relatives are living, and try and run 
through from there. I believe, however, that I can get 
through from here if I make the right kind of an effort; at any 
rate, I would like to make the attempt, if only to show you 
what I am capable of" 

The colonel laughed at my enthusiasm, and said, " Well, 
you are a plucky little woman; and as you seem to be so anx- 
ious to spy out what the rebs are doing, I have half a notion 
to give you a chance. You must not blame me, however, if 
you get caught, and they take a notion to hang you ; for, you 
know, that is a way they have of dealing with people who 
engage in this sort of business, and your sex won't save you." 

'' 0," said I, '' I don't think that my neck was ever made to 
be fitted in a noose, and I am willing to risk it." 

The result of the conference was, that Colonel Baker finally 
consented to let me try my luck, and he gave me a variety 
of instructions about how to proceed, and about the par- 
ticular kind of information I was to endeavor to obtain. I 
saw very plainly that he did not entirely trust me, or, rather, 
that he was afraid to trust me too much ; but I attributed his 
lack of confidence in me to the fact that I was as yet untried, 
and consequently might be led by my enthusiasm into under- 
rating the difficulties of the task I was undertaking, rather 
than to any doubt in his mind Avith regard to my fidelity. I 
resolved, therefore, to give him such proofs of my abilities, as 
well as of my fidelity, as would insure me his entire confi- 
dence in the future. 

Baker Concludes to Send me to Richmond. 

It having been determined that I should make the trip, 
Baker told me to get ready for my journey immediately, and, 
in the mean time, he could procure me the necessary passes to 
enable me to get through the Federal lines, and money to meet 
my expenses. 

When we next met, he gave me five thousand dollars in 
bogus Confederate bills, and one hundred and fifty dollars in 
greenbacks, which he said ought to be enough to see me 
through all right. I suggested that if the Confederates 


caught me passing bogus currency, tliey would be apt to deal 
harder with me than they would simply as a spy. Baker 
laughed at this, and said that that was one of the risks I must 
run, but that he did not think there was any danger, as 
these bogus notes passed more readily in the Confederacy 
than the genuine ones did, which he could only account for 
on the supposition that the Confederacy was a bogus govern- 
ment. He seemed to think that this was rather a good joke, 
although I was not able to see exactly where the laugh came 
in, and am afraid that I must have struggled hard with the 
faint smile that I attempted. 

Everything being ready, off I started, and had but little 
difficulty in getting through the Federal lines on the passes 
furnished me by Baker. To get through those of the Confed- 
erate forces was a more troublesome operation; but, as when 
I came to the outposts, I was able to declare my real errand, I 
was not seriously impeded, and once in Richmond I was, of 
course, perfectly at home. 

In Richmond. 

On my arrival in that city, I immediately communicated 
with the authorities, delivered the messages and despatches 
submitted to me, sent letters to merchants in Wilmington and 
Savannah, as I had been directed to do, and gave all the 
information I could about the condition of things at the 
North, the proposed raid, and other matters. 

While waiting to hear from the men in Wilmington and 
Savannah, and for the preparation of such instructions as I 
was to carry back from the Richmond people, I found myself 
falling short in funds, and accordingly tried to see what 
could be done with Baker's bogus Confederate notes. I had 
no difficulty in passing them, and consequently invested the 
entire batch in greenbacks, but, as the United States promises 
to pay were worth more, even in Richmond, than those of the 
Confederacy, I did not make an even exchange, by a great deal. 
Indeed, the greenbacks which I pocketed by this operation 
amounted to a very moderate sum, all of which I knew would 
be required for my return journey. 

Within a few days I heard, by special messenger, from the 
parties in Wilmington and Savannah. This man delivered to 
me a package which was to be taken through to Canada, and 
also orders and sailing directions for certain blockade-runners, 


and drafts whicli were to be cashed, and the money disposed 
of in certain ways for the benefit of the Confederate cause. 
I also received directions from parties in Richmond to confer 
with the Confederate agents, and, if agreeable on all sides, to 
visit the prisons ; it being thought that, as a woman, I would 
be able to obtain admission, and be permitted to speak to the 
prisoners, where a man would be denied. 

Then, freighted with my small, but precious package, sev- 
eral important despatches, and other papers, and a number of 
letters for Confederates in Canada, I started to return. I 
would have been a rich prize for the Federals, if thej should 
capture me ; and, while on my way back, I wondered what 
Colonel Baker would think and say, in case some of his em- 
issaries should chance to lay hands upon me, and conduct me 
into his presence, laden with all this contraband of war. 

Return North by Way of West Virginia. 

In consideration of the value of the baggage I was carry- 
ing, it was thought to be too great a risk for me to attempt to 
reach the North by any of the more direct routes, and I was 
consequently compelled to make a long detour by way of 
Parkersburg, in West Virginia. This involved a long and 
very tiresome journey, but it was undoubtedly the best course 
for me to pursue. 

The wisdom in choosing this route was demonstrated by 
the result, and I succeeded in reaching Parkersburg Avithout 
being suspected in the least by any one. At that place I 
found General Keiley in command, and from him procured 
transportation to Baltimore, on the strength of my being an 
attache of Colonel Baker's corps, which was a very satisfac- 
tory stroke of business for me, as it saved both trouble and 

The instructions under which I was moving required me to 
go to Baltimore, and from there inform the different parties 
interested of my arrival, and wait to hear from them as to 
whether they were ready to meet me at the appointed places, 
before proceeding farther. I was also to wait there for some 
drafts lor large sums, which were to be cashed in New York, 
and the money taken to Canada. This involved considerable 
delay, which was particularly unpleasant just then, as I was 
getting very short of funds, and was, moreover, quite sick, 
the excitement I had gone through with, — for this was a 


more exciting life even than soldiering, — and the fatigues of 
a very long and tedious journey, having quite used me up. 

Short of Funds. 

On arriving in Baltimore, fearing that I would not have 
enough money to see me through until I could obtain a remit- 
tance, I went to a store kept by a lady to whom I was told to 
ap])eal in event of being detained on account of lack of funds, 
and explaining who I was, and the business I was on, asked 
her if she would not assist me. She looked very hard at me, 
asked me a great many questions, and requested me to show 
her my papers. I said that this was impossible, as not only 
my honor and life were at stake, but that interests of great 
moment were involved in the preservation of the secrets I 
had in possession. 

This, I thought, ought to have satisfied her ; but it appar- 
ently did not, for she evidently regarded me with extreme 
suspicion. Her indisposition to trust me might have been 
caused by my rather dilapidated appearance, although my 
soiled travelling dress ought to have been proof of the fact 
that I had just been making a long, and very rough journey. 
Finally, another lady coming in, she walked back in the store 
with her, and I, supposing that she did not intend to take any 
more notice of me, arose to go out. She, however, seeing 
this movement, called for me to wait a moment. Shortly 
after she returned, and, handing me a sum of money, said, 
'^ I am a Union woman ; but as you seem to be in distress, I 
will have to aid you. This is as much as I can afford to give." 

I, of course, understood that this speech was intended for 
any other ears than mine that might be listening, and, merely 
giving her a meaning glance, walked out of the store, without 
saying anything further. 

Having obtained this money, I went back to Barnum's 
Hotel, where I was stopping, feeling considerably relieved, so 
far as the exigencies of the moment were concerned, but not 
knowing to what poverty I might yet be reduced before I 
received my expected remittances. At first I was very 
much vexed at the behavior of the lady in the store, as I 
thought that the statement I made her, and the names of per- 
sons I mentioned as having referred me to her, ought to have 
gained me her confidence at once. On reflection, however, I 
came to the conclusion that she might not be so much to 


blame after all, as she was obliged to be careful, on the one 
hand, not to be imposed upon, and, on the other, not to be 
caug-ht having secret dealings with the Confederates. 


That night I was so sick that I had to send for a doctor. 
I ollered him ray watch for his services, stating that I was out 
of funds, and was detained in Baltimore through the non- 
arrival of money which I was expecting. He, however, 
refused to take it, and said that I might pay him if I ever was 
able, but that it would not matter a great deal one way or 
the other. The next day I was considerably better, and was 
able to go about a little, and I continued to improve with rest 
and quiet. 

While stopping at Barnum's Hotel, I became acquainted 
with a young captain in the Federal army, and, as I made a 
practice of doing with all Federal officers, — I did not know 
wlicn they might be useful to me, — I courted his friendship, 
and told him a story about myself similar to that I had told 
on several other occasions with which the reader is familiar, 
and was especially bitter in my denunciations of the rebels. 
The captain was so affected by my pitiful narrative, that he 
introduced me to General E. B. Tyler, who was very affable 
and courteous, and who, learning that I was anxious to travel 
northward, and was short of money, kindly procured for me a 
pass to New York. 

Finally, I received notice that one of the blockade-runners, 
with Avhom I was to communicate, was at Lewes, Delaware, 
and, on proceeding to that place, found an English brig, the 
captain of wliich was anxiously waiting to receive instruc- 
tions as to what port he was to sail for. The cargo was prin- 
cipally powder, clothing, and drugs, and the captain was 
exceedingly glad to see me, as he wanted to get away as fast 
as he could, there being a liability that the Federal authorities 
might pounce upon him at any moment. I accordingly gave 
him his sailing papers, which contained directions for him to 
proceed to Wadling's Island, on the north of Cuba, whore he 
was to transfer his cargo to another vessel, which was to run 
for any port it could make in the Confederacy. The captain 
handed me the cards of several houses in Liverpool and 
Havre, which were extensively engaged in blockade-running, 
and I bade him adieu, wishing him a safe and pleasant trip. 


Tliis errand having been satisfactorily' despatched, I went 
to Philadelphia, where I took a room at the Continental Hotel, 
and telegraphed for my papers, money package, &c., to be 
forwarded to me from New York by express. The next 
morning I received, in reply to this, my expected drafts, and 
also the following characteristic letter : — 

" Quebec, Canada. 

" Mrs. Sue Battle : You will find enclosed a card of your 

government agent here, B . Any orders you have for 

your government, if forwarded, we will execute and despatch 
quickly, according to your instructions. Messrs. B. & T. 
have several clippers, which they will put in the trade, if 
desired. I will drink your ladyship's good health in a bottle 
of good old Scotch ale. Let us hear from you at your earliest 
convenience. I will await your answer to return to Europe. 
With great respect, and with hopes of success, 

" I am, madam, yours truly, R. W. L." 

Back in New York. 

I now proceeded, without further delay, to New York, 
where I was met, at the Desbrosses Street ferry, by my asso- 
ciate in that city, who conducted me to Taylor's Hotel, where 
he had engaged a room for me. He said that he had been 
getting somewhat anxious for my safety, the more especially 
as he was informed that the detectives had received some 
information of my doings, and were on the watch for me. 
This made me a trifle uneasy, as I did not know but my 
friend, Colonel Baker, had discovered some facts about me 
which had served to convince him that I was not likely to be 
as valuable a member of his corps as he had supposed I would 
when he started me on my Richmond trip. Since my return 
to the North I had been endeavoring to keep myself con- 
cealed from Baker and all his people, as I did not wish to 
renew my acquaintance with the colonel until I had visited 
Canada. That accomplished, I proposed to see him again, 
and to make use of his good offices for the purpose of putting 
into execution a still more daring scheme. 

My New York accomplice said that he did not think I was 
in any immediate danger, although I would have to take care 
of myself. He himself had seen one of the detectives who 
were on my track, and, while I was evidently the person he 


was after, the description he liad df me was a very imperfect 
one ; so that, by the exercise of a little skill, I ought to 
be able to evade him. To put him on the wrong track, my 
accomplice had told this detective that he thought he knew 
the person he was searching for, and had procured a photo- 
graph of a very difterent looking woman, and given it to 

Having cashed my drafts, and gotten everything ready, I 
started for Canada, carrying, in addition to valuable letters, 
orders, and packages, the large sum of eighty-two thousand 
dollars in my satchel. Mr. L., the correspondent whose letter 
has been quoted, was requested, by a telegraphic despatch, to 
meet me on my arrival in Canada. 

Under ordinary circumstances, the great value of the bag- 
gage I was carrying would not have disturbed my peace of 
mind ; but I knew that, in addition to the money I had with 
me, my capture would involve the officers of the Federal 
government obtaining possession of papers of the utmost 
importance, from which they would scarcely fail to gain quite 
sufficient information concerning tlie proposed raid to put 
them on their guard, and enable them to adopt measures for 
preventing the execution of the great scheme. It was not 
comfortable, therefore, for me to feel that the detectives were 
after me, and to be under the apprehension that one of them 
might tap me on the shoulder at any moment, and say, in that 
bland tone detectives use on such occasions, " Come, my good 
woman, you are w^anted." 

A Detective after Me. 

I was absolutely startled when, on approaching the depot, 
my companion, pointing to a man in the crowd, said, '•' There, 
that is the fellow to whom I gave the photograph. He is 
looking for you ; so beware of him.'' Then, thinking it best 
that we should not be seen together by Mr. Detective, he 
wished me good luck, and said good-by, leaving me to pro- 
cure my ticket, and to carry my heavy satchel to the cars 

I watched the detective as well as I could without looking 
at him so hard as to attract his attention, and saw tliat he was 
rather anxiously surveying the people as they passed into the 
depot. I was really curious to know how he managed to get 
on my track ; for, although he might not be sufficiently posted 


about me for purposes of identification, it was evident that he 
was working on some tolerably accurate information with re- 
gard to my movements. I also wondered whether Colonel 
Baker had any suspicion of me ; but made up my mind that he 
scarcely could have, or else this officer would have been bet- 
ter posted. 

After getting into the cars I lost sight of the detective until 
the arrival of the train in Rochester, and was congratulating 
myself that, not seeing the original of the photograph, he had 
remained in New York. At Rochester, however, to my in- 
finite horror, he entered the car where I was, and took a seat 
near me. 

When the conductor came through, after the train had 
started, the detective said something to him in a low tone, 
and showed him a photograph. The conductor shook his head 
on looking at it, and made a remark that I could not hear. I 
did, however, hear the detective say, " I'll catch her yet," 
to which I mentally replied, " Perhaps." 

This whispered conference reassured me a little, as it 
showed that the officer was keeping his eye open for the orig- 
inal of the photograph which he had in his pocket, while the 
woman whom he was really after was sitting within but a few 
feet of him. I concluded that I would try and strike up an 
acquaintance with this gentleman, in order to find out what he 
had to say for himself, and because I thought that perhaps I 
could say or do something to make him even more bewildered 
than he was already. 

I, therefore, picked up my shawl and satchel and removed 
to the seat immediately back of him. The window was up, 
and I made a pretence of not being able to put it down, so 
that after a bit the detective's attention was attracted, and he 
very gallantly came to my assistance. When he had closed 
the window, I thanked him, with a rather effusive politeness, 
and he, probably feeling a trifle lonesome, and also, perhaps, 
a trifle discouraged, seated himself beside me, and opened a 

He was a short, thick-set man, with a dull, heavy expres- 
sion of countenance, deep-set eyes, thick eyebrows, and a 
coarse and rather scrubby mustache. He did not have the 
appearance of being a very brilliant genius, but then, as I 
well knew, it did not do to place too much reliance upon 
mere outward appearances, especially with members of the 
detective force. 


After passing tlie compliments of the day we launched into 
a general conversation, I attempting to speak with a touch of 
the Irish brogue, thinking that it would induce him to believe 
me to be a foreigner. 1 would have addressed him with a 
Spanisli accent, but was fearful that it would help to betray 
me. Baker as well as others having been told that I was of 
Spanish extraction, while I did not know as yet how much 
real information the secret-service chief might have with re- 
gard to me, or whether this fellow was one of his officers or 
not. I was playing a rather desperate game, but I felt toler- 
ably sure of being able to deal with the gentleman. I confess, 
however, to having felt considerable anxiety, although I strove 
to conceal it from my companion. 

" You are going to Canada, are you not? " inquired my new- 
made friend. 

" Yes, sir." 

" Do you live there ? " 

" 0, no, sir. I live in England. I am only going to Canada 
to visit some friends." 

" Have you been in America long? " 

" Only about eigiit months." 

" How do you like this country ? Don't you think it is a 
finer country than England ? " 

" 0, I like living in England much better than I do here, 
and expect to go back so soon as I get through with my Can- 
ada visit. There is too much fighting going on here to suit 

" 0, you need not mind that ; besides, the war will soon be 
over now." 

" Do you think so ? " I queried. I am afraid just with the 
least touch of sarcasm, and for fear he might have noticed 
something unpleasant in my tone, added, " I will be glad when 
the fighting is over. It is terrible to hear every day of so 
many men being killed." 

" 0, that is nothing ; we get used to it." 

" Yes," I mentally said, " it may be nothing to such a shirk 
as you, for you will take precious good care to keep your car- 
cass out of danger." 

The detective now took out of his pocket the photograph 
which my associate in New York had given him, and which I 
was anxious to see, and handing it to me, said, " Did you ever 
see anybody resembling this ? I am after the lady, and would 
like very much to find her." 


" She is very handsome/' I replied. " Is she your wife ?" 
— looking him straight in the eyes as I said this. 

" Wife ! no," said he, apparently disgusted at the sugges- 
tion that he was in pursuit of a faithless spouse. " She is a 
rebel spy, and I am trying to catch her." 

"Why, what has she been doing? She looks like a very 
nice lady, and I hardly could think she would do anything 

" Well, she has been doing a good deal that our government 
would like to pay her off for. She is one of the smartest of 
the whole gang." This I thought was rather complimentary 
than otherwise. "lam on her track now, however, sure," — 
" Yes, the back track," I thought' — " and I am bound to catch 

" Well, if she has been doing anything against the law, I 
suppose she ought to be punished ; but I hope you won't treat 
her unkindly if you do succeed in catching her." 

" She will have to look out for that. It don't do to show 
any mercy to these she devils ; they give us more trouble than 
all the men together." 

" But perhaps this lady is not a spy, after all. She looks 
too pretty and nice for anything of that kind. How do you 
know about her?" 

"■ 0, some of our force have been on the track of her for a 
long time. She has been working for these Copperheads and 
rebel agents here at the North, and has been running through 
the lines with despatches and goods. She came through from 
Richmond only a short time ago, and she is now on her way 
to Canada, with a lot of despatches and a big sum of money, 
which I would like to capture." 

"Doubtless you would," I thought; and then said aloud, 
" I wonder how you can find out so much, when there must be 
a great many people coming and going all the time. Suppos- 
ing that this lady is a spy, as you say, how do you know that 
she has not already reached Canada?" 

" Maybe she has," he replied, " but I don't think so. I have 
got her down pretty fine, and feel tolerably certain of taking 
her before she gets over the line." 

This was a highly edifying and entertaining conversation to 
me, and I would willingly have prolonged it indefinitely, for the 
purpose of trying to get some points from my companion which 
might prove useful. As he, however, seemed inclined to change 
the subject, I was afraid to seem too inquisitive, and we conse- 


qnently dropped into a general conversation, of no interest to 
the reader. 

The detective seemed determined to be as polite to me as 
he could; and on leaving the cars he carried my satchel, con- 
taining eighty-two thousand dollars belonging to the Confed- 
erate government, and a variety of other matters which he 
would have taken possession of with the utmost pleasure, 
could he have known what they were. When we passed on 
board the boat I took the satchel from him, and thanking him 
for his attention, proceeded to get out of his sight as expe- 
ditiously as I could. 

When the custom-house officer examined my luggage, I 
gave him a wink, and whispered the password I had been 
instructed to use, and he merely turned up the shawl which 
was on my arm, and went through the form of looking into 
my satchel. 

The Detective Baffled. 

On reaching the Canada shore I was met by Mr. L., who 
gave me a very hearty greeting ; but I cautioned him to say as 
little as possible just then, as we might be watched. Glancing 
back, I saw my friend the detective, anxiously surveying the 
passing crowd ; and calling Mr. L.'s attention to him, I said, 
" Do you see that heavy man with the black eyebrows and 
scrubby mustache, who looks as though he had lost some- 

'' Yes. What of him ? " 

" He has been travelling on the train with me all day, and 
has been exceedingly polite and attentive. He is a detective, 
and I am the individual he is after, but he isn't half smart 
enough to catch me." 

I then, as we moved off, related my adventure with the de- 
tective to my Canadian friend. He thought it a capital good 
joke, and said that I seemed to be tolerably well able to take 
care of myself. 

On my arrival in Canada I was welcomed with great cordi- 
ality by the Confederates there, who were eager to know all 
about my trip, how things were looking at Richmond, whether 
I had letters for so and so, and anything else that I was able 
to tell them. I distributed my letters and despatches accord- 
ing to instructions ; mailed packages for the commanders of 
the cruisers Shenandoah and Florida, w^hich I had received 
wath especial injunctions to be particularly careful of, as they 


were very important ; and then proceeded to the transaction 
of such other business, commercial as well as political, as I had 
on hand. 

As this was my first visit to Canada, there was much for me 
to do, and much to learn. I therefore became acquainted with 
as many people as I could, and found out all I could about the 
methods of transacting commercial and financial business, 
who the proper parties to deal with were, and everything 
else worth knowing that I could think of. ^^ 

Planning for the Great Raid. 

There were a good many matters of more importance than 
trade and finance, however, which demanded my immediate 
consideration, and many and long were the conferences held 
with regard to the proposed grand movement on the enemy's 
rear. There were a number of points about this grand 
scheme that I would have liked to have been informed of; but 
those who were making the arrangements for the raid were, 
so fearful of their plans in some way getting to the ears of 
the Federal authorities, that they were unwilling to tell me, 
and other special agents, more than was absolutely necessary 
for the fulfilment of the duties intrusted to us. This exces- 
sive caution was, perhaps, demanded by the peculiarities of the 
situation; but it is certain, in my opinion, that could there 
have been a more definite understanding between the various 
co-workers, the chances of success would have been very 
largely increased. I, for one, could have performed my part 
with far more efficiency — although I did all that it was ar- 
ranged that I should do — had I been trusted more largely 
with the details of the proposed movement. 

As it was, I was merely furnished with a general idea of 
the contemplated attack, and was assigned to special duties 
in connection with it. These duties were to visit Johnson's 
Island, in Lake Erie, and, if possible, other military prisons, 
for the purpose of informing the Confederates confined in 
them of what was being done towards effecting their release, 
and what was expected of them when they were released. I 
was then to telegraph to certain agents that the prisoners 
were Avarned, and such other information as I might deem it 
important for them to be possessed of, in accordance with an 
arranged system of signals. This being done, I was to pro- 
ceed to the execution of other tasks, the exact details of 


which, however, were nnde dopondent upon circumstiinccs, 
and npon directions I might receive from the agents in the 
States, under whose orders I was to act. 

This plan for a grand raid by way of the lakes excited my 
enthusiasm greatly, and I had very strong hopes of its suc- 
cess. I knew how desperate the situation at the South was 
getting to be, and felt that a diversion of this kind, which 
wouUl excite terror in the hearts of the people of tlie North, 
and wliich would probably cause a considerable force to bo 
withdrawn from the front, would help the Confederate cause 
at this particular juncture more, even, than a series of bril- 
liant victories on the well-trodden battle-grounds of the South. 
A large number of the people of the North were, I knew, get- 
ting heartily sick of the war, and 1 thouglit that it would only 
need a brilliant movement for transferring some of the fight- 
ing and some of the desolation to Northern ground, to cause 
the anti-war policy to demand that peace should be had at any 
price. Whether the proposed raid would have accomplished 
all that was expected of it, can, of course, never be deter- 
mined. It is probable, however, that I, as well as others in- 
terested, underrated the diflficulties of executing such a com- 
plicated scheme. Be that as it may, something could have 
been done, more than was done, had everybody been as enthu- 
siastic and as determined as myself, and liad there been no 
traitors with us. The scheme failed, when it should have 
been, at least, partly successful ; but it need not have failed 
so utterly as it did, had it been managed with wisdom, backed 
UD bv true darinar. 



I return to Washington for the Purpose of reporting to Colonel Baker. — 
Apprehensions with Regard to the Kind of Reception I am lil<ely to 
have from him. — The Colonel amiable, and apparently unsuspicious. — 
I give him an Account of my Richmond Trip, and receive his Congrat- 
ulations. — General A. calls on me, and he, Baker, and I go to the 
Theatre. — A Supper at the Grand Hotel. — Baker calls on me the next 
Morning, and proposes that I shall visit the Military Prisons at John- 
son's Island and elsewhere, for the Purpose of discovering whether the 
Confederate Prisoners have any Intentions of escaping. — I accept the 
Commission, and start for the West. — Reflections on the Military and 
PoHtical Situations. 

' N my return from Canada, I went first to New 
York, where 1 delivered such matters as had 
^.__ , been committed to my care for my associates 

^y^^ "^^jfa/i there, and after a conference with them, hur- 
ried on to Washington, for the purpose of 
seeing Colonel Baker. 

It was not without many apprehensions that I con- 
cluded to face the colonel again, for I did not know 
how much information he might have about me by 
this time, and it really seemed like walking into the 
lion's den. That his officers were aware of some of 
my movements, as they were following me up rather too 
closely for comfort, was certain ; but whether they had yet 
succeeded in identifying the rebel spy and secret-service 
agent with the woman whom Baker had employed to go on a 
confidential mission to Richmond, was not so clear. Taking 
all things into consideration, I concluded that Baker and his 
men must be rather in a mist about me ; for the detective, 
whom I had met on the cars, was evidently working some- 
what in the dark, which could hardly have been the case had 
his chief suspected me of playing a double game with him. 
If Baker, however, had the least suspicion with regard to 




me, the fact of my very prolonged absence would, I knew, be 
liable to increase it, although under ordinary circumstances 
there would have been no dilficulty in explaining this to his 
satisfaction ; for he well knew that the errand he had sent me 
on was a difficult as well as a perilous one, and that it was not 
to be accomplished quite as easily as a trip between Washing- 
ton and New York. 

Making all allowances for the probabilities in my own flivor, 
however, I confess that I experienced some trepidation at the 
idea of facing the colonel, and 1 wondered not a little what he 
would do with me in case he did happen to know who I really 
was. It was of such great importance, however, that I should 
gain immediate admittance to the military prisons, and I knew 
that such admittance could be gained by going there as one 
of Baker's corps, whereas it might otherwise be impossible, 
that I determined to take all the risks, so far as my own 
safety was concerned, and to try and have the colonel my 
ally in making the preparations for what, if properly carried 
out, would be one of the most brilliant episodes of the war, so 
far as the Confederates were concerned, and that would not 
unlikely have the efiect of bringing the contest to a speedy 

The idea of being able to use the chief of the Federal 
detectives for the advancement of the Confederate cause was 
one that gave me enormous satisfaction, and I more than 
once fancied what a capital good joke it would be for me, 
after I succeeded in getting beyond Colonel Baker's reach,, to 
inform him how badly he had been taken in, and to ask him. 
what he thought of me and of my performances from a profes- 
sional point of view. 

Reporting to Baker. 

While on my way to Washington for the purpose of meet- 
ing him, and of making a report of my Richmond trip, my 
prospective interview was anything but a joking matter. The 
thing had to be done, though ; so, stifling my fears, I, on my 
arrival in Washington, Avalked boldly into the colonel's pres- 
ence, and announced myself as having just got back from 

Baker received me with proper cordiality, and congratu- 
lated me on my pafe return. There was nothing whatever in 
his manner to indicate that he had the slightest suspicion of 

^^ Getiysburg, Pa. I 


me. This was reassuring ; still I could not be quite certain 
but that, having once got me into his power, he intended to 
find out what I had to say for myself before beginning a less 
agreeable conversation. 

I, however, did not propose to commence saying disagree- 
able things if he did not ; and so, presuming that he imagined 
me to have just returned from the Confederate capital, 1 pro- 
ceeded to make such a report of my doings as I thought would 
suit him. 

I told him that I had obtained the name of the spy whom 
he was anxious to discover, and such a description of him as 
would enable me to identify him without any difficult}^, if I 
could get to see him. The information I had obtained with 
regard to him induced me to believe that he was at Johnson's 
Island, but of this I could not be certain. 

I then went on to say that it was understood in Richmond 
that arrangements were being made for a grand stampede of 
the rebel prisoners, and that this spy, in some way, found means 
to communicate with the Copperheads and the rebel secret- 
service agents. This was the story which it had been arranged 
between my confederate and myself I should tell Baker, for 
several reasons. There was the least bit of truth in it, and, 
in endeavoring to throw a detective like Baker off the scent, 
a little truth mingled with the fiction would be likely to 
accomplish the object better than a story which was all 
fiction. As there had been rumors more than once of 
attempted stampedes of tlie prisoners, it was concluded that 
Baker would not be likely to regard this one as of any very 
great importance, especially if he had no inkling of the 
grand raid which was to take place in connection with the 
release of the prisoners, while at the same time he would be 
anxious to find out whether a stampede was really to be 
attempted, and if I managed right, would most likely employ 
me to make the investigations for him. 

This explanation is worth making, for its own sake, as it will 
give the reader an idea of my method of working, and at the 
same time will serve to show that I was not revealing to the 
colonel any secrets which it Avas my duty to keep from him. 

Baker Falls into the Trap. 

Baker fell into the trap just as innocently as if he had been 
a young man from the country, instead of the chief detective 


officer of a great government which was engaged in a 
gigantic contest. On my suggesting my willingness to follow 
the thing up by visiting the prisons for the purpose of finding 
the spy, and if possible discovering the facts with regard to 
any conspiracy that might be on foot, he did not give mo any 
definite answer at once, but said he would think about it ; but 
I saw plainly that he considered the idea as rather a good 
one, and did not doubt that he would speedily make up his 
mind to send mo. 

When we had finished talking over this matter, I proceeded 
to give him a detailed account of what I saw and heard in 
Richmond. I said that the rebels were very strict and very 
suspicious, and would not allow any one to go to the front, or 
to visit the prisons or the public buildings. I was, how- 
ever, able to pick up quite a number of facts that might be 
useful, and then went on to tell him a well-connected story, 
partly true and partly false, about the way things looked, and 
the way people talked ; what the forces in the field, and their 
locations were ; how the blockade-runners managed to get in 
and out of port ; what I had seen and heard on the road 
as I was going to and fro, and so on. None of the real facts 
that I gave the colonel were of any importance, although I 
magnified them as much as I could, but they served to give 
an air of plausibility to my narrative, and to convince him 
that I was quite an expert spy, considering that I was a mere 

Baker asked me numerous questions, which I answered 
to the best of my ability, so far as was consistent with the 
good of the Confederate cause; and when we had concluded 
our conversation he praised me very warmly, said that I was 
a plucky little woman, that he had thought I had vim enough 
to go through if any one could, that I had done a good ser- 
vice to the country, and a variety of other nice things, which 
had the effect of making me feel quite pleasant and quite at 
my ease with him again ; being reasonably certain, although 
not absolutely sure as yet, that he was harboring no malevo- 
lent intentions towards me. Baker also remarked, that not 
hearing anything of me for such a long time, he had been 
getting somewhat uneasy about me ; to which I replied, by 
telling him how and why I had been detained ; and the expla- 
nation appeared to be entirely satisfactory, for he said no more 
on that point. 

I was curious to know exactly how well he was informed 


with regard to my real movements, and had half a dozen 
questions on the end of my tongue which I wanted to ask him. 
I concluded, however, that this would be going rather too far, 
and would do no good, while it might have the effect of excit- 
ing suspicions where none at present existed. I did, how- 
ever, venture to inquire whether he had told any one that I 
was attached to the corps. 

" No, no," he replied, " certainly not, and I don't want you 
to tell any one either. If I employ you for anything, 'it will be 
for strictly confidential business, which must be between our- 
selves. I would rather that even my own people should not 
know anything about you as a secret-service agent." 

Having finished our business talk, I asked for my friends 
General A. and Captain B,, and was informed that the captain 
was in the field, but that the general was in the city, and 
would doubtless be glad to see me. 

On reaching the Kirkwood House, where I had taken a 
room, I sent my card to the general at Willard's Hotel, and 
he came immediately to see me. While we were chatting, in 
came Baker, who, I judged by his manner, had something 
which he wanted to say to me, and surmised that it was a 
consent that I should visit the prisoners. 

" Ah, general," said he, " I see that you are bound to con- 
tinue your attentions to our little friend here. She hasn't 
been in Washington many hours, and you have found her out 
already. I guess, however, that she likes me better than she 
does you, for she came to see me as soon as she arrived." 

The general looked a trifle surprised at this, and said, 
" Why, Baker, you must be getting to be a lady's man ! I 
didn't know that you were particularly inclined that way." 

Baker laughed at this, and said, " She is a first-rate little 
woman, and I wish there were more like her. She has just 
made a very successful trip to Richmond, and has brought me 
some important items." 

" Is that so? " said the general. "Why, I did not know that 
she belonged to your corps." 

'' Neither does she in a regular way ; but as she knew a 
good deal about Richmond, and was acquainted with a number 
of people there, I thought I would let her make a trip, espe- 
cially as she was extremely anxious to try her luck." 

The general congratulated me on my success, and then pro- 
posed that we should all three go that evening to Ford's 
Theatre. Baker assented, and I was quite willing, as I 


thought an evening's entertainment in witnessing a good pky 
wouki brighten me up a little. Besides, I was anxious to 
cultivate the acquaintance of these two men, and was especially 
solicitous to have all possible opportunities of conversing with 
the colonel, with a view of inducing him to accede to my 
proposition for a visit to the military prisons. Baker and the 
general then said good-by, for the present, and went away 

About seven o'clock in the evening the general returned 
alone, and as he was escorting me to the carriage I asked 
where Baker was. The general replied that he had been 
compelled to go unexpectedly to the executive mansion, on 
some business, but would probably join us in the theatre. 

An Evening at the Theatee. 

This aroused all my apprehensions of danger again, and I 
became fearfully luieasy lest all the colonel's fine words should 
merely have been intended to draw me out and conceal some 
sinister designs towards me. I stifled my fears, however, as 
well as I could, and after we got to the theatre tried to con- 
verse with the general in an agreeable and natural manner. 
I was startled by the least sound, however, and was unable to 
avoid turning round to look every time any one came in, 
almost expecting every moment that Baker, or one of his 
officers, would appear for the purpose of arresting me. 

My fears proved to be groundless. Baker did come in soon 
after the play commenced, and taking a seat beside me, made 
an apology for not joining the party sooner, but begging to be 
excused, as he had been compelled to go up to the White 
House, for the purpose of having a talk with the president 
and the secretary of war. There was nothing in his manner 
then or afterwards to indicate that he was suspicious of me, 
and both he and the general, while the play Avas in progress, 
were apparently greatly absorbed in what was occurring on 
the stage. 

As for m)''self, I found it impossible to get interested. I 
was uneasy for my own safety, knowing that I was playing a 
desperate game, and was even more anxious lest the grand 
scheme whicli I was endeavoring to promote should fail 
through any fault or misdirection of mine. My thoughts, too, 
wandered to our brave men in the field, and to the sufferings 
of the poor prisoners. I almost reproached myself for even 


making an appearance of indulging in an evening's recreation 
in company with two Federal olficers, while so many thousand 
Confederates were enduring so much, but consoled myself 
with the reflection that I was not doing this for mere pleas- 
ure, but was engaged in the performance of an important task, 
which might be greatly promoted through my acquaintance 
with these men. Finally, to my great relief and satisfaction, 
the play came to an end, and the curtain dropped for the last 

As we passed out, the general proposed that we should go 
to the Grand Hotel and have some supper. I did not care to 
do this, but thought it best to accept the invitation. 

At Supper. 

We had a really superb repast — one of the finest I had 
ever sat down to ; and as I was hungry, I ate quite heartily. 
In the way of drinkables, I confined myself to lemonade, but 
the gentlemen took wine. The general, who was quite fond 
of his toddy, drank rather more than was good for him, and 
soon became very talkative and a trifle noisy. He was one 
of those men, however, who never forget to be gentlemen, 
and he neither said nor did anything off"ensive. Finally, he 
began spinning some long yarn, during which Baker took an 
opportunity to whisper to me that he would probably want to 
see me in the morning. I nodded assent, although my fears 
began to rise a little, but I hoped that instead of demanding 
a ditferent account of my doings from that which I had al- 
ready given him, the colonel would give me my commission 
for a trip to the West. 

After we had finished our supper, we returned to the 
Kirkwood, where I bade them good night, at about a quarter 
before twelve, at the drawing-room door ; and as soon as they 
were gone, hastened to my own room to obtain the rest of 
which I stood in so much need, for I was tired out with the 
fatigues of travel and the excitement and anxieties of the 

The next morning, just as I was sitting down to breakfast, 
the waiter brought me a note from Colonel Baker, in which he 
stated that he would call to see me at the hotel about half 
past ten o'clock, and requested me to await him at that hour. 
Still being uncertain whether Baker's intentions towards me 
were amicable or not, it Avas not without some trepidation 


that I looked forward to this interview. I did not know him 
then as well as I did subsequently, or I would scarcely have 
been so much afraid of him. It did not take me a very great 
while to discover that he was not a prodigy of astuteness, but 
at tliis time, as the reader is aware, I had had comparatively 
little to do with him. I knew that if he was not sharp he 
ought to have been, holding the position that he did, and I 
also knew that I had good cause to dread falling into his 
hands, or even being suspected by him. Not only were some 
of the members of his corps eagerly looking for me, but I was 
about engaging in a particularly hazardous enterprise which 
it would have made Baker's fortune to have gotten an inkling 
of, and I did not know — even presuming that Baker himself 
was unaware of the fact that I was a Confederate spy — how 
soon he or some of his men might succeed in identifying me 
with the troublesome woman they were searching for, or how 
soon they might discover something about the plot which I 
was aiding to carry out. The situation, therefore, was a deli- 
cate one for me, for much more than my own safety was de- 
pendent upon the chief of the United States secret service 
continuing in the belief that I was exactly what I represented 
myself to be, and retaining his confidence in me. 

Thus far, to be sure, I had been able to detect nothing in 
Colonel Baker's manner to indicate that his suspicions were 
excited in the least, although I had watched hira narrowly. 
But, as I knew that, as a detective, it was a part of his busi- 
ness to mask his thoughts and feelings, and not to give even a 
shadow of a hint that he had been preparing a trap until the 
moment he was ready to spring it and secure his victim, I felt 
that I could not place too much reliance on his friendly looks 
and behavior. On the other hand, I had much confidence in 
my own power of reading character and detecting motives, 
and, in watching Colonel Baker, during my late interviews 
with him, I was not working in the dark, as I might have been 
doing under some circumstances. I knew tliat tliere was good 
reason to believe not only that he might suspect me, but that 
he might be possessed of accurate information about me, and 
I accordingly studied his behavior towards me from this stand- 
point. The result was a reasonable conviction with regard to 
my present safety, and yet nothing like a feeling of absolute 
certainty. As for the future, I, of course, could know nothing 
as to what that would bring forth, but was prepared to ven- 
ture everything. 


At the appointed time, Colonel Baker made his appearance, 
and said " Good morning " with a pleasant smile, in which 
there was apparently not a shade of malice or unfriendliness. 
After asking me how I had liked the play, and making a few 
other unimportant remarks, he said, '• Well, my little "svoman, 
I have made up my miud to let you try your skill as a detec- 
tive once more, if you are in the same mind you were 

" Yes," I replied, " I am just as anxious now as I was then, 
and I think I can not only hnd that spy for you, but that I can 
discover whether there really is any intention among the rebel 
prisoners to make a break." 

" That is just what I want you to do. I think that a woman 
can manage a job of this kind better than a man anyhow, and 
I believe that you are just the woman to manage it in first-rate 

" Thank you, colonel ; I can at least try." 

About that Spy. 

" Yes, that's it ; try and find out all you can. I want you to 
pick out this man for me if he is at Johnson's Island, as you 
seem to think he is, and if you succeed in finding him, telegraph 
to me immediately. If he is not at Johnson's Island, you had 
better try and find out if any of the prisoners know anything 
about him ; it is possible, you know, that he may be in some 
other prison, or, indeed, that he may have escaped. At all 
events, make every effort to find him." 

" You know, colonel, I am acquainted with a good many 
people down South, and I may come across somebody I know, 
or somebody that knows somebody I know, and by represent- 
ing myself as a disguised Confederate, I may be able to get 
the prisoners to talk plainer than they would to a stranger or 
a new visitor." 

" Well, I will leave it to you to manage the thing the best 
way you can think of. It would not be a bad idea, however, if 
3^ou were to pass yourself off as a Confederate secret-ser- 
vice agent, and if you were to intimate that something was 
likely to be done soon to procure the release of the prisoners, 
you might be able to induce them to say whether they have 
any plans of their own, or whether they are in communication 
with any one outside." 

" That is about my idea of working ; but the only diffi- 


culty will be in getting a chance to talk to any of tlie men 

" 0, I"1I arrange that for you by giving you a confidential 
letter, which, however, you must be careful not to let any one 
see except the commanding officer. If those fellows are up to 
any tricks, I want to know all about it at once. There has 
been a good deal of talk at dilfcrent times about the prisoners 
attempting to stampede, but it has been pretty much all news- 
paper sensation, with nothing in it." 

" But, you know, colonel, something of the kind miglit bo 
attempted ; and if a stampede or an insurrection should take 
place, it would create a good deal of excitement just now." 

" Yes, yes ; that's so. If there is anything on foot I want 
to discover it, and I want you to find out all you possibly can, 
and let me know immediately." 

" Well, you can rely upon me, and I think you will find me 
as shrewd as most of your detectives are." 

" If you will only keep your eyes and ears well open, and 
open your mouth only when you have business to talk about, 
I will most likely find you a good deal shrewder." 

*' Wliy, colonel, you don't appear to have the best opinion in 
the world of some of your detectives." 

" 0, yes, they do pretty well ; some of them are really first- 
rate men ; but they are not as smart as they ought to be for 
the kind of service they are in." 

" I suppose some of those rebel spies give you a good of 
trouble in keeping the run of them." 

" 0, you haven't any idea of it. Half the people of Wash- 
ington and its immediate vicinity are rebel sympathizers, and 
would be spies if they dared, and knew how. And then they 
are at work all through the North and in Canada. Some of 
my people are after a spy now who has been travelling be- 
tween Kichmond and Canada, but they don't seem to be able 
to lay their hands on her. If they don't catch her soon, I 
have half a mind to let you try what you can do, if you suc- 
ceed well with your present trip." 

The conversation at this point, I concluded, was getting to 
be rather too personal, and I thought it best to change the 
subject, although 1 could not help smiling at the idea of Baker 
emi)loying me to catch myself. * That, I thought, would be en- 
tirely too arduous a task for me to undertake in my tlien 
rather feeble state of health, although there might be both 
amusement and profit in it. Forbearing, however, to enter 


upon this interesting tlieme, I asked tlie colonel when he 
desired me to start. He said by the first train, if I could get 
ready ; and handing me my confidential letter and two hun- 
dred dollars, he asked whether there was anything more he 
could do for me. 

I said that I could think of nothing, but would proceed to 
get ready for my journey immediately. He then shook hands 
and left, after wishing me a pleasant trip, and expressing a 
hope that he would soon receive a good report from me. 

When the colonel was gone, I went up to my room to pack 
my travelling satchel ; and feeling perfectly satisfied from my 
late conversation with him that I was safe for tlie present so 
far as he was concerned, I laughed heartily at the absurdity 
of the situation, and wondered with myself whether I would 
have dared to attempt anything of this kind at Richmond 
with old General Winder. I had no difficulty in concluding 
that if fate had compelled me to play tricks with Winder, as I 
was doing with Baker, I would have been forced to proceed 
in a less open and free and easy style about it, and congratu- 
lated myself most heartily that I had so easy a customer to 
deal with under existing circumstances. 

Calling a carriage, I was soon at the Baltimore depot, and on 
board the train. Having to stop at the Relay House for the 
western bound train, I made an effort to see the Confederate 
agent who was stationed there, as I had a number of things I 
wanted to say to him. He was an old Southern acquaintance 
of mine, and there were a variety of little matters that I could 
have whispered in his ear that would have been useful, and, 
at the same time, that I would not have cared to confide to 
every agent with whom I happened to come in contact. There 
is a good deal in knowing who one's friends really are in trans- 
acting such delicate business as that I was then engaged in. 
Unfortunately, my friend was away ; and as I was in too much 
of a hurry to wait for his return, I Avas forced to forego 
the pleasure of seeing him. 

Westward Ho ! 

Once on board the AVestern train, I had a long journey be- 
fore me, and had plenty of time to think over affairs generally. 
I planned and schemed until my brain fairly whirled, and I 
was glad to chat a little with some of my neighbors, or to 
gaze through the car windows at the gorgeous scenery that 


met my eyes at every turn in the road, and to try and think 
for a wliilo only of its beauties, as a rest from the wild thoughts 
that filled my mind. 

Try as I might, however, I could not avoid thinking of the 
situation, the prospects of the Confederacy, and the cliances 
of success for the grand scheme, the execution of which I was 
endeavoring to assist. What if we failed ? or, if we succeeded 
in our first effort, would we be able to accomplish all we intend- 
ed and expected ? These were questions I could not answer. 
What I dreaded most was, the possible effect of a raid by way 
of the lakes on the Confederate sympathizers and the anti-war 
party. Would it stimulate them to make greater exertions 
than ever to bring the conflict to a close, or would this, bring- 
ing the war to the doors of themselves and their neighbors, 
turn them against us ? I confess that I had fears of tlie latter 
result, for I had a not ill-founded distrust of these people, who 
are neither one thing nor the other ; and I believed that had 
the Copperheads wielded their influence, as they might have 
done, they could either have prevented the war in the begin- 
ning, or could have forced a conclusion long ago. 

What power the opponents of the war were able to exert 
would, however, be determined very shortly. A presidential 
election was coming off in a few weeks, and the greatest ex- 
citement with regard to the political battle that was being 
waged prevailed. Nearly everybody admitted that the defeat 
of Mr. Lincoln for a second term would mean that a majority 
of the people of the North were ready and anxious to abandon 
the contest, and to let the seceding Southern states go in peace. 
The fact that the Democratic candidate was a Federal general, 
who had been commander-in-chief of the armies, and who pro- 
fessed to be willing and anxious to carry on the war, did not 
please me very well, for it indicated to my mind, very plainly, 
that the anti-war people were afraid to oppose Mr. Lincoln 
and the war party on a square issue. 

I, however, was nothing of a politician, and did not profess 
to understand the ways of politicians, they being a class of men 
for whom I had no special admiration. But I could not help 
thinking that the Confederate government and the people of 
the South were basing too many hopes on what the Democrats 
would be able to do at this election. I knew that they in 
many ways were doing what they could to secure a Democratic 
victory ; but, for my part, I relied far more on bullets than ou 
ballots to give the South the victory, and I expected moro 


from the great raid, for which I was now working, than I did 
from the election of General McClellan. 

Neither the raid nor the election turned out as it was hoped 
they would, but just about that time barren hopes were pretty 
much all that Confederate patriotism and enthusiasm were fed 
on, and they were rapidly getting starved for lack of more 
solid meat. The failure of the contemplated raid in the rear, 
and the re-election of Mr. Lincoln, put an end to all expecta- 
tions of such a division of sentiment at the North as would 
be of any benefit to the Confederacy, and there was nothing to 
be done but to fight the thing out to the bitter end. 

The period which preceded the overthrow of the Confed- 
eracy was, however, one of brilliant campaigning and desper- 
ate fighting, and was the time when the Confederate agents 
and spies at the North labored with the greatest assiduity. 
The performances of these agents and spies have never yet 
been related as they deserved to be, and this narrative of ni}' 
adventures, personal as it is in its nature, and limited as it 
necessarily is in its scope, will, I trust, be regarded as a not 
, uninteresting or unimportant contribution to a history of some 
of the least understood phases of the great conflict. 



On the Way lo Sandusky. — I am introduced to a Federal Lieutenant on 
the Cars, who is conducting Confederate Prisoners to Johnson's Island. 
— He permits me to converse with the Prisoners, and I distribute some 
Money amon<r them. — Arrival at Sandusky. — First View of Johnson's 
Island. — I visit the Island, and on the Strength of Colonel Baker's Let- 
ter am permitted to go into the Enclosure and converse with the Pris- 
oners. — I have a Talk with a young Confederate Officer, and give him 
Money and Despatches, and explain what is to be done for the Libera- 
tion of himself and his Companions. — Returning to Sandusky, I send 
Telegraphic Despatches to the Agents in Detroit, Buffalo, and Indian- 
apolis. — How the grand Raid was to have been made. — Its Failure 
through the Treason or Cowardice of one Man. 

^T Parkersburg I met General Kelley again, 
and had a talk with him, in which he laugh- 
ingly suggested that I seemed to be in as 
much of a huny to go West as I had been 
to go East the last time he saw me. I re- 
marked, that in war times the enemy had a 
way of putting in appearances at various points of the 
compass, and that we had to go for him wherever he hap- 
pened to be, if we didn't want him to come to us. I also 
hinted, with a little maliciousness, that perhaps the 
reason whj^ the war had lasted so long was because so many of 
our generals instead of going after the rebels wherever they 
were to be found, insisted on waiting for them to come to places 
where it would be most convenient to fight them. The gen- 
eral said there was some truth in that ; and that if all the gen- 
erals were as smart about doing what they had to do as I 
seemed to be, the rebels would have been whipped long ago. 
It is pleasant to have commendation even from those we are 
fighting against, and I felt flattered at the general's good 
opinion of me, although I knew that he was really not aware 
what good cause he had to commend my smartness. I won- 
28 433 


clered what he would say about me if he should suddenly dis- 
cover what kind of an errand I was then really on, and how, 
as one of Colonel Baker's secret agents, I was aiding in the 
execution of a plot, that, if successful, would cause a panic at 
the North such as had never yet been dreamed of But such 
things at such a time were not even to be looked out of the 
eyes, much less hinted at with the lips, and I parted from the 
general, with Cincinnati as my next objective point, with a 
full expectation that ere long he would hear of me, or at least 
of my work, in a way that would astonish him. 

Making the Acquaintance of an Officer in Charge of 
Confederate Prisoners. 

After leaving Cincinnati en route for Sandusky, I was intro- 
duced by the conductor to a lieutenant who had in charge 
twenty-seven Confederate prisoners. These he was taking to 
Sandusky to be placed on Johnson's Island, and I, conse- 
quently, thought that he might be an advantageous person to 
know, and that if I could manage to get into his good graces 
1 might in some way advance the interests of the scheme I was 
engaged in by means of him. 

This officer was a rather flashy young man, who evidently 
thought that he cut a very dashing figure in his uniform, and 
whose mind was given rather to reflection on his own impor- 
tance than to the acquisition of useful knowledge. He was 
not, however, without a certain amount of good sense, and he 
made a far from disagreeable travelling companion, for we 
speedily got tolerably well acquainted, and he not only was 
very attentive, but he entertained me not a little by his 

Not knowing what use I might have for him, I tried to be 
as cordial as possible, and long before we reached Sandusky 
we were on the best of terms. I did not find out a great deal 
from him that was worth knowing, for the reason, perhaps, that 
he did not know anything. He, however, permitted me to have 
a talk with the prisoners, whom I questioned as to what com- 
mands they belonged to, when they were captured, and other 
matters, and gave them each a dollar apiece out of Colonel 
Baker's money. Beyond asking them questions, I did not say 
a great deal to them, for I could not know how far they were 
to be trusted ; but I looked much more than I said, and several 
of the more intelligent among them exchanged significant 


glances with me, which intimated that they understood tliat I 
nad a purpose in view in cultivating the acquaintance of the 
lieutenant so assiduously, and was disposed to befriend them 
by any means in my power. 

As to the lieutenant, he took such a decided fancy to me, 
and was so excessively gallant, that he insisted upon paying 
all my incidental expenses along the road. To this I could 
not, under the circumstances, permit myself to make any ob- 
jections, but I was imable to avoid wondering whether it was 
his own cash or that of Uncle Sam's he was so very free with. 
That, however, was no concern of mine, and it would have 
been even more impolite for me to have asked him the ques- 
tion than to have declined to permit him to pay my bills. 

It was midnight when we reached Sandusky. The lieuten- 
ant, attentive to the last, put me in the hotel coach, and re- 
questing me to keep an eye on his satchel, he excused himself 
for a few minutes until he could dispose of his prisoners. I 
do not know what he did with them ; but while I was waiting 
for him, I was also wishing heartily that they would manage 
to give him the slip and escape. Before a great while, how- 
ever, he made his appearance again, and jumped in the coach. 
We then drove to the hotel, where he registered my name 
and procured me a room. After seeing me safely installed in 
my quarters he said good-night, and expressed a hope that he 
would have the pleasure of escorting me to breakfast in the 

First Sight of Johnson's Island. 

When I awoke the next morning I went to the window, and, 
drawing the blinds, looked out upon the lake, seeing in the 
distance what I supposed to be Johnson's Island. This little 
piece of ground, rising off there so serenely and beautifully 
from the bosom of the lake, was to be the scene of my next 
great effort in behalf of the Confederacy, — an effort that, if 
crowned with success, would bring me more credit and 
renown, and would do more to promote the success of the 
cause, than all the fighting and campaigning I had done. On 
it were thousands of brave Confederates, \vlio were sighing 
for their homes in the sunny South, sighing to be once more 
on the battle-field fighting for Southern independencCj and, all 
unconscious that the moment was approaching when one good 
blow rightly struck would not only put an end to their irksome 
captivity, but would go far to secure all that they had taken 


Tip arms for, — all that they had suffered for on the battle- 
field and in the prisons of the enemy. It was a great respon- 
sibility that rested upon me, this preparing the way for the 
grand attack which was to transfer the seat of war to these 
beautiful lake shores, that was to effect the release of these 
prisoners, and that was, perhaps, to end the war ; and I trem- 
bled to think that, perchance by some trifling slip or mistake, 
the whole scheme might miscarry and come to nothing. 

When I was dressed, I rang the bell for the chamber-maid to 
take my card to the lieutenant, to let him know that I was 
ready for breakfast. When the woman came, I asked her if 
that was Johnson's Island, where the rebel prisoners were 
kept. She replied that it was, and that she wished they were 
away from there. I asked her why, and she said she was 
afraid they would break loose some time and burn the town. I 
told her I guessed there was no danger of anything of that 
kind happening, as there ought to be soldiers enough to guard 
them. She did not appear to be at all sure upon this point, 
but seemed to think that a general stampede of the prisoners 
was a very likely thing to happen. I was of about the same 
opinion, although I did not tell her so, but followed her down 
stairs to the drawing-room, where I found my lieutenant waiting 
to take me in to breakfast. 

During the progress of the meal the lieutenant said that he 
would have to go over to the island with his prisoners, but 
that he would be back about eleven o'clock, when, if I would 
permit him, he would get a team and we would take a drive. 
I thanked him, but declined, on the plea that my engagements 
would not permit of my accepting his kind invitation, although 
I might be able to do so at some future time. He said he was 
sorry, but that he was afraid he would not be able to permit 
himself the enjoyment of my company much longer, as it would 
be necessary for him to return the next day, at the latest. I 
professed to be sorry, but was not very much so, for I wanted 
to get rid of him, having come to the conclusion that he was 
not likely to be of much more use to me, while if he pursued 
me with his attentions he might prove a serious impediment to 
the proper execution of my plans. 

So soon as he was well out of sight, I went to the telegraph 
office, and sent despatches to the Confederate agents at De- 
troit and Buffalo, announcing my arrival, and received their 
responses. This duty performed, I started for the boat that 
was to carry me over to the island. 


While crossing to the prison camp, where so many of my 
comrades were confined, my mind was filled M'ith a thousand 
suppositions as to what might happen. The least accident 
might bring the whole great scheme to nothing, and I felt a 
nervousness and a dread of consequences at the idea of under- 
taking the task before me that I liad never experienced when 
facing the enemy on the battle-field. So far as any personal 
danger was concerned, I was no more sensible of fear than I 
was when the bullets were flying thick and fast around me ; 
but it was a terrible sensation, that of feeling that the fate of 
a magnificent campaign was in my hands, and that upon my 
good management would depend whether it could ever be 
inaugurated or not. The sensation was such as a general 
might feel when making the first movement in a great battle 
upon which the fate of a nation depended. I did not lose any- 
thing of my coolness or my resolution, but I could not help 
being oppressed, in some degree, with the weight of my re- 
sponsibility, and could not help wondering whether I would 
succeed in doing, in good style, what I had been assigned to 
do, or if, after I had finished my part of the work, my associ- 
ates would have the skill and courage to do theirs. 

In the Johnson's Island Prison Camp. 

On arriving at the island, I showed my letter from Baker to 
the commanding officer, and explained to him that I was 
searching for a rebel spy, who was supposed to be engaged, or 
to have been engaged, in some plots which the authorities at 
Washington were desirous to learn the particulars of. My 
credentials were recognized as correct, and I was accordingly 
admitted, without hesitation, into the enclosure, and permitted 
to speak freely to the prisoners. 

My greatest fear now was that some of the Confederates 
would recognize me, and would say or do something incau- 
tiously that would lead to my detection. I was known to a 
good many in the Confederate service, both officers and men, 
as a woman, and to a great many more as a man, and there 
was no telling but that some one among the prisoners might 
be heedless enough to claim acquaintance with me, and thus 
spoil everything. 

Glancing around the enclosure, however, I could see no signs 
of recognition on any of the faces of the prisoners, although 
a number of them were gazing curiously at me, and after a bit 


I began to breathe a little freer, and to be able to inspect the 
men rather more closely, with a view of picking out a suitable 
one to communicate with. 

At length I spied a young officer whom I had known slight- 
ly when I was figuring as Lieutenant Harry T. Buford, and 
who I knew to be a particularly bright, intelligent fellow, I 
concluded, therefore, to speak to him, and calling him to me, 
asked him a few immaterial questions, until we had walked 
away out of ear-shot of the others. 

Conference with a Confederate Prisoner. 

When we were where no one could overhear us, I said, " I 
am a Confederate, and have got in here under false colors ; I 
have something important to say to you." 

" I hope you have some good news for us." 

'' Yes, it is good news ; at least I hope you will think it is, 
for it concerns your liberation." 

'' Well, that is good, if it can be done, for we are mighty 
tired of this, I can tell you." 

" It will depend a great deal on yourselves whether any- 
thing can be done ; but if the prisoners will only co-operate 
in the right spirit, at the right moment, with our friends out- 
side, not only will they secure their release, but they will be 
able to hit the Yankees a staggering blow." 

His eyes sparkled at this, and I saw that he was willing and 
eager to engage in almost any enterprise that promised to 
secure his liberation, and I was only fearful that in his excite- 
ment he would do something incautious, that would interfere 
with the successful prosecution of our scheme. 

I therefore said, " You must be very careful, keep cool, and, 
above all things, don't give a hint as to who I am. Say that 
I am a Yankee, if anybody asks you, and pretend that this 
conversation was only about how you are treated, and whether 
you do not wish that the war was over, whether you expect 
to be exchanged soon, and matters of that kind." 

" I will fix that all right. What is it that the boys outside 
are going to do for us ? " 

" I have a despatch here which will tell you what are the 
arrangements, what the signals outside will be, and what you 
are to do when you see them. Give it to the party it is ad- 
dressed to, and consider yourselves under his orders until 
your liberation is effected. When you are once outside of the 

^ i^ 'Jil a O .Vm: 7i O .V JO/^,YijOjY' ^ ISL^.Y& 


prison you will find plenty to help you, and will be able to 
effect some kind of an organization." 

" Well, don't you want to see the party that the despatch is 

" No, it won't do for me to talk to too many ; and it is better 
for a number of reasons, in order to avoid any suspicion, that I 
should not be seen in conversation with him." 

" Well, I'll give the despatch to him in any verbal message 
you may send." 

I tlien dropped on the ground a package containing eight 
hundred dollars, and said, " There is some money ; conceal it 
as quick as you can, and distribute it among the men as far as 
it will go." 

He tliereupon sat down on a block of wood in front of me 
and commenced whittling a stick, while I stood close to him 
with my back to the guard, and with my skirts covering the 
package. Watching a favorable opportunity, when the guard 
was looking another way, he seized the package and slipped 
it into his boot, and then went on whittling in as unconcerned 
a manner as possible. 

I then told him that I would leave Sandusky the next day 
at the latest, and that with the delivery of the despatch I 
held in my hand, which contained full and minute directions, 
my part of the business would be finished, and that the con- 
summation of the scheme would depend upon himself and the 
others. I cautioned him to be exceedingly wary, and to take 
none of the prisoners into his confidence unless he was per- 
fectly sure of their thorough reliability. 

He promised to be discreet, and then wishing him good by 
and success, I shook hands with him, passing the despatch as 
I did so. 

The precious paper once in his possession, he started off, 
whistling and whittling as he went, while I hurriedly returned 
to the office, when I told the commander that I w^as unable to 
find the man I was looking for, and tliought that I would have 
to visit some of the other prison camps. 

He said he was sorry, and hoped that I would have better 
luck next time. "We then walked together towards the boat, 
conversing in general terms about the prisoners and the war. 
At the landing we met the lieutenant, Avho seemed to be rather 
surprised to see me there. He exclaimed, " Why, have you been 
visiting the prisoners ? If I had known that you wanted to 
see them, I would have escorted you over to the Island." 


I did not care to tell the young man that, under the cir- 
cumstances, I preferred to dispense with his escort, and so 
only said, " 0, yes. I thought I would like to take a look at 
them ; and I can tell you, some of those rebels are sharp, if 
they are backwoodsmen. If you don't look out, they will be 
getting away from you some day." 

The officers both laughed, and the lieutenant said, " I guess 
not ; they are always talking about doing that, but they never 
do it ; we have them too fast." 

This was a point which I did not care to argue with him 
just then, so saying adieu to the commander of the prison, the 
lieutenant and I stepped aboard the boat, and were soon on 
our way back to Sandusky. 

As we were crossing to the town, the lieutenant again pro- 
posed that we should take a drive that afternoon. I, however, 
excused myself, and gave him to understand that I had en- 
gagements which would prevent me from meeting him again. 
The young man, therefore, to my infinite relief, — for his at- 
tentions were beginning to be troublesome, — stated that he 
would return to Cincinnati by the first train ; and, when I 
parted from him in the hotel, I sincerely hoped that he would 
do so, for I did not wish to have him watching my move- 

I now wrote a letter to Colonel Baker, in which I stated 
that the man I Avas looking for was not at Johnson's Island, 
and that I thought I would go on to Indianapolis, and visit the 
prison camp there. After I had dined, not seeing the lieuten- 
ant, I inquired for him, and was told that he had gone. Being, 
therefore, in no danger of meeting him again, I went to the 
telegraph office, and sent despatches to the Detroit and Buffalo 
agents, to notify them that I had visited the prison and ex- 
ecuted my commission there, and one to St. Louis, in accord- 
ance with the instructions under which I was acting, for the 
agent there to send certain parties to meet me at Indian- 

The next morning I was off for Indianapolis, to continue 
the search I had begun in Sandusky, although I desired very 
much to remain in the last named city for the purpose of 
watching the progress of events, and, perhaps, of taking part 
in any fighting that might occur. I very well knew that by 
acting as a spy and as a bearer of despatches I was perform- 
ing much more valuable service than I would as a soldier, and 
yet, at the prospect of a battle, all my fighting blood was up, 


and I could scarcely restrain my desire to be an active par- 
ticipant in the great and exciting scenes I thought were about 
to take place. 

I afterwards wished that I had remained, for I felt confident 
that had I been in Sandusky when the appointed time for 
striking the blow came, and had been intrusted with the 
direction of affairs, there would have been no such miserable 
fizzle as actually did occur. 

The proposed Lake Shore Raid, and the Cause of its 

The general plan, as the reader has already been told, was 
to organize a raid along the lake shores, to release the prison- 
ers, to gather about us all the Southern sympathizers who 
could be induced to join us, and to make such a diversion in 
the Federal rear as would compel the withdrawal of a large 
force from the front. We also placed great reliance on the 
effects of the panic which, it was hoped, would be created, 
and also on British intervention, which it was expected would 
be brought about by a border war, in which it would be im- 
possible to prevent trespass upon British territory. 

In addition to this, the Indians were to be stirred up to acts 
of hostilit}' all along the frontier, from the lakes to the gulf. ' 

The prisoners, as they effected their escape, were to act 
according to circumstances. Those at Sandusky, and at places 
nearest to that point, were to unite with the outsiders, and 
form an army to operate along the lake shores, and as far into 
the adjacent country as they could penetrate, while others 
were to endeavor to effect a junction with Price and Quantrell 
in Missouri, and to march under their orders. 

The execution of this scheme was to begin at a certain 
time, after the prisoners had been made acquainted with such 
details of the general plan as were necessary to be known by 
them, by the capture of the Federal gunboat Michigan, and 
of such other steamers as tlie Confederates could overpower 
by stratagem or force. This being done, the prisoners on 
Johnson's Island were to be notified by a pre-arranged signal, 
and were to make a break and overpower their guards, Avitli 
the assistance of the boats. The prisoners once free, the 
organization of both military and naval forces was to be pro- 
ceeded with as rapidly as possible, and all the damage done to 
the enemy that could be done with the means at hand. 


In pursuance of this plan, the Confederates in Canada seized 
the lake steamers Indian Queen and Parsons, and started for 
Sandusky. On arriving off that place, however, their signals 
were unanswered ; and after waiting as long as they dared, 
they were forced to the conclusion that something unexpected 
had occurred to interfere with the success of the plans, and 
Lad no recourse but to make their escape as rapidly as they 
could, well knowing that the Michigan, if she ever got her 
guns to bear on them, would blow them out of the water in 
very short order. 

The scheme fell through, not because the party from Can- 
ada did not keep their engagement, or were not willing and 
anxious to do all that they had the power to do, but because 
one of the men who went to Sandusky for the purpose of seiz- 
ing the Michigan turned traitor. I may, perhaps, be doing 
this person an injustice in applying this harsh name to him ; 
but if he was not a wilful traitor, he was a fool, and too weak 
and cowardly to have been intrusted with such responsible 
and weighty duties as he was. 

Arrangements had been made to secure the attendance of 
all, or nearly all, the officers of the Michigan at an entertain- 
ment, and during their absence the vessel was to have been 
seized. Before this entertainment could come off, however, 
the man to whom I have alluded was either recognized as a 
Confederate, or else he made some drunken utterances that 
excited suspicion. At all events, he was arrested, and on a 
search being made, papers were found in his possession which 
gave the Federal government full information with regard to 
the plot, and enabled them to take means to meet it. All this 
might have happened, and yet no one been seriously to blame ; 
but this man, on the papers being found on him, confessed 
everything, and revealed, not merely the particulars of the 
scheme, but who his associates were. 

He should have permitted himself to have been torn limb 
from limb before doing this, as I would have done, had I been 
captured, sooner than I would have revealed anything to the 

The failure of this raid caused much disappointment at the 
South ; and the Confederates in Canada, by whom it had been 
planned, and to whom its execution was intrusted, were greatly 
censured, and were accused both of treachery and lack of 
courage. These censures and accusations were unjust for 
they did all they could do ; and if they were to blame for any- 


thing, it was in confiding in a person or persons who were 
unworthy of confidence. 

The excitement which the capture of the Sundusky party, 
and the discovery of what it was that they and the Confed- 
erates proposed to do, caused at the North, showed how great 
would have been the panic that the successful execution of 
the scheme would have caused. I cannot express the disgust 
and indignation I felt when I heard that the plot had failed, 
and how it failed ; and it was on this account, as much as any- 
thing else, that I left the country for a time, and refused to 
have anything more to do with my late associates and their 
schemes, although I was still intent upon doing all I could to 
advance the interests of the Confederacy. 



I deliver Despatches to Agents in Indianapolis, t— Waiting for Orders. — I 
obtain Access to the Prison Camp, and confer with a Confederate Officer 
confined there. — I apply to Governor Morton for Employment, and am 
sent by him to the Arsenal. — I obtain a Situation in the Arsenal, and 
am set to Work packing Cartridges. — I form a Project for blowing up 
the Arsenal. — Reasons for its Abandonment. — I receive a suspicious 
Number of Letters. — How I obtained my Money Package from the 
Express Office. — I go to St. Louis, and endeavor to obtain Employ- 
ment at the Planters' House, for the Purpose of enabling me to gain 
Information from the Federal Officers lodging there. — Failing in this, I 
strike up an Acquaintance with a Chambermaid, and by Means of her 
pass Key gain Access to several Rooms. — I gain some Information from 
Despatches which I find, and am very nearly detected by a Bell Boy. — 
I go to Hannibal to deliver a Despatch relating to the Indians. — Hear- 
ing of the Failure of the Johnson's Island Raid, I return East, and 
send in my Resignation to Colonel Baker. 

'N" my arrival at Indianapolis, I found two men 
from St. Louis awaiting me, they having been 
sent there in compliance with my telegraphic 
despatch from Sandusky. I had a long talk 
with them about the condition of affairs, and 
delivered the despatches I had for them. One of 
them — a tall Missourian — was to go to the borders, 
to operate with the Indians, and the other was to 
report to Quantrell, on some business of a secret 
nature. I had no idea what the despatch which I 
handed to this second man was about, and, as he did 
not seem disposed to tell me, I did not ask him. 

In compliance with my orders, I was now to wait in Indian- 
apolis until I should receive directions to proceed elsewhere, 
and was to occupy my time in obtaining access to the prison 
camp for the purpose of conversing with the prisoners, in- 
forming them of the movements that were in progress, and 
encouraging them to make an effort to escape, as no rescue 
could be attempted in their case. 


Exactly how to get into the prison enclosure was sometliing 
of a problem, as, lor a number of good and sufficient reasons, 
I was desirous of doing this without figuring as Colonel Ba- 
ker's agent, as I had done at Sandusky. Where there is a 
will there is a way, nearly always, and I speedily found a 
very easy way to accomplish my object. 

Obtaining Admission to the Indianapolis Prison Camp. 

Walking out towards the prison camp, the day after my 
arrival, I determined to try and get in, on some plea or other, 
and only to fall back on Baker's letter as a last resource, when 
all other means failed. Not very far from the enclosure I met 
a cake-woman, who, I surmised, was permitted to go among 
the prisoners for the purpose of trading with them. It oc- 
curred to me that, with a little management, I could obtain 
admission along with her ; so, going up to her, I purchased a 
few cakes, and said, " Why, do you go into the prison, among 
those dirty rebels ? " 

" 0, yes," she replied ; '' I go in there to sell them cakes." 

" I did not know that they lot any one in." 

" Yes ; the officers all know me, and the sergeant always 
looks through my basket, to see that I haven't anything con- 

'' I would like mighty well to go in there, and see how the 
rebels look. Do you think they would let me in with you ? " 

" Yes ; you come along wnth me ; 111 get you in." 

When we came to the gate, therefore, and while the ser- 
geant was examining her basket, the old woman said, " Ser- 
geant, this is my sister. She came with me to see how the 
rebels look ; she never saw one." 

The sergeant laughed, and passed us both in, without fur- 
ther parley. 

The cake-woman went into the quarters, where she soon 
had a croM'd of men round her, investing their cftsh — and 
precious little of it they had — in the contents of her basket. 
Looking around me, I spied a major belonging to Lee's army, 
whom 1 had met in Richmond, but who liad never seen me in 
female attire, and, going up to him, I had a hurried conversa- 
tion with him, in a low voice. 

I told him that now was the time for the prisoners to make 
a break, if they wanted to gain their freedom, as there were 
no'troops at hand worth speaking of 


He wanted to know whether there was not danger of being 

I replied, that I did not think there was, if they made a 
bold dash, and all worked together. I then told him what 
was being done elsewhere, and explaining as well as I could 
the general plan of operations that had been arranged, sug- 
gested that they should try and reach the southern part of 
the state, and, after crossing the river, report either to Price 
or Jeff Thompson. I then gave him some money, and hur- 
riedly left him, to rejoin the old cake-woman, whose basket 
was by this time emptied, and who was prepared to leave. 

This duty having been satisfactorily performed, I wrote a 
letter to Colonel Baker, informing him that the man I was 
looking for was not at the Indianapolis camp, but that I had 
information which led me to think I would find him at Alton. 
I, therefore, proposed to go to that place, and if he was not 
there, I would give the whole thing up as a bad job, and return 

An Application to Governor Morton for Employment. 

I had no intention of going to Alton, but being under obli- 
gation to remain for some time — how long I could not 
know — in Indianapolis, I was desirous of employing myself 
to the best advantage. Exactly what to get at, however, was 
not an easy thing to determine. After considering the sub- 
ject in all its aspects, I resolved to go to Governor Morton 
for the purpose of asking him whether he could not give me 
some employment. My idea was, that perhaps, through the 
influence of the governor, I could obtain a clerkship, or some 
position which would afford me facilities for gaining informa- 

I accordingly called on the governor, to whom I represented 
myself as a poor widow, whose husband had been killed in 
the war, alad who had no means of support. Governor Mor- 
ton treated me kindly enough, although I speedily made up 
my mind that he was by no means as amiable and good-natured 
an individual as my rather jolly friend. Governor Brough, of 

After hearing my story, he said that there was nothing he 
could do for me, but that it was very possible I might be able 
to obtain employment at the arsenal, as there were a good 
many women working there. 


This, it struck me, was a most capital idea ; and, therefore, 
asking the governor to give me some kind of a note or recom- 
mendation, — which request he complied with by writing a 
few lines, — I left him, to see what I could do at the place 
where they were manufacturing munitions of war to be used 
against my Confederate friends. 

I do not know whether it was the governor's note that aided 
me, or whether they were reall}'' in want of hands, but I was 
told that I could have work, if I desired it. The ordnance 
officer — a German, whose name I have forgotten — said that 
I was to commence work on Tuesday, the day I applied to 
him being Saturday. 

A Project for Blowing Up the Arsenal. 

At the appointed time I appeared at the arsenal, and was 
sent into the packing-room, where I was instructed in the 
mystery of packing cartridges. There were about eighteen 
girls working in the same room, most of whom were rather 
light-headed things, interested in very nearly everything 
except the business the}' were paid for. A goo